KANSAS CITY, Mo — Lincoln College Preparatory Academy's Leiloni Payton had finished second at the Missouri Girls Tennis State Championship as a sophomore and a junior.
"I was very motivated," Payton said. "Senior year I had to win first place. Everybody was believing in me, and i was like, 'I've got to believe in myself. I've got to prove to everybody that I can do it.'"
The point was proven.
Payton claimed the Missouri Class 1 Single Tennis Title over the weekend in straight sets.
"It moved me quite a bit," said Vick Newson, Lincoln Prep Girls Tennis coach. "To see her win the championship the way she won it."
Payton was the only champion in singles or doubles in any class from the Kansas City area.
"It means a lot," Payton said. "I'm honored and I thank God for the opportunity."
Newson talked about what's been like to coach her.
"She's just an honor to coach," Newson said.
The Missouri Team Tennis Championships are this coming weekend.