DE SOTO, Kan. — It has been a steady climb upward for De Soto High School's Issa Sullivan. She has become one of the better girls tennis players in the state of Kansas and is sure to continue making her mark.
She has dominated the competition in the last several weeks of match play. Issa won the singles championship at the Wildcat Invitational on September 24th and helped her team finish 3rd overall. Sullivan won the Bonner Springs Invitational #1 doubles title along with teammate Carly Bodenhausen. She also won the Kansas Class 5A regional singles championship qualifying her for the state tournament.
However, Issa finished fourth last week in the Class 5A state tournament at Maize South High School. Despite falling short of her goal to win a state championship, her successful season overall was because of her hard work on the court.
"We practiced every day after school for over two hours," Sullivan said. "I practice on the weekend with my personal coach. And, I practice once a week with also my personal coach."
De Soto Wildcats Girls Tennis Head Coach Justin Hoffman knows how much effort Issa has put in this year to get where she is today.
"There's a lot of preparation that goes into practice. We have players of all different levels. And, having Issa again at such a high level, it makes it a challenge to balance how we're developing our young players," said Hoffman. "It is great to have her around those young players that are pretty new to the sport to see someone of that level. And, she's such a good teammate. She's willing to step in and help."
Her performance earned her the Hy-Vee 41 Five-Star Athlete of the Week. Needless to say, Issa was surprised that she was honored.
"Yeah, I never expected I'd get something like that. So, yeah it's like an honor. It's really cool to get recognized for something I do for my school," Issa said.
NOTE: The Hy-Vee 41 Five-Star Athlete of the Week segment airs during a new night in the 2017 season. The segment will air on Wednesday nights during the 10 p.m. sportscast. It previously aired on Thursdays.