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Hy-Vee High School Athlete of the Week: Liberty tennis’ fantastic freshman lifts Blue Jays to runner-up finish

Liberty freshman Ava Beltran finishes 4th in state singles
Ava Beltran, Liberty High tennis
Posted at 9:42 AM, Oct 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-26 10:42:47-04

LIBERTY, Mo. — Liberty girls' tennis is still basking in the glow of a successful season, finishing as 2023 runner-up in Missouri Class 3.

“We were district champions; we were conference champions,” Blue Jays head coach Pam Koch began.

A big reason for the team’s success — freshman Ava Beltran, who finished fourth at state after playing as the team’s No. 1 singles player all year.

“She has a great attitude,” Koch said of her fantastic freshman Beltran, who was chosen as KSHB 41’s Hy-Vee High School Athlete of the Week for her standout season. "She is always cheering for her teammates. When she's playing with a doubles partner, she is always encouraging them."

Beltran was pleased with her debut season, especially the experience at the state tourney.

“It was a really cool experience just getting to see everyone there,” she said of playing at state. “Going into the match, we knew that we had a chance to win, so we're pretty pumped up about that."

While her high school career's just starting, Beltran's already looking forward to continuing her tennis career beyond Liberty. She said she aspires to play at the NCAA Division I level.

For now, she's happy to accept the honor as the Hy-Vee High School Athlete of the Week.

“It was kind of like an out-of-the-blue call, so I was kind of confused," Beltran said. "But when she told me, I was like, 'Whoa, OK,' but I'm really honored to receive this award."