By Sabina Hodzic and Carly Stone
Since she was 6 or 7 years old, Jamesville-DeWitt High School senior Kyrin Pollock has been practicing tennis, making it her specialty. In her final season her hard work and dedication has paid off. This past season, Pollock became the first player from J-DHS to advance to states in 89 years.
Pollock has loved tennis for as long as she can remember. She saw a game on TV and later wanted to be signed up for tennis lessons at Drumlins, a local country club. From the start, Pollock has practiced vigorously to gain skill and motivate herself to great success. As a kid, she would play against friends to gain experience. Quitting for Pollock was never a thought because she knew after a few days without tennis, she would “miss it way too much.”
Pollock’s road to states came with hard work and a lot of practice. Before states, Pollock was able to win the Section III Division II singles title in October, having a bye and then winning four straight matches. Pollock defeated Tori Pellegrino from Whitesboro High School in the final match of sectionals. While competing for a state title, Pollock faced several opponents, the toughest of which for her was Julia Wagner of Auburn High School. Although Pollock fell short of a state title, the extended season seemed to “complete” her senior year.
Pollock is described as a hard working student and tennis player, excelling both on and off the court, by Coach Eugene Sul. Coach Sul, who is a science teacher at J-DHS, says Pollock has gained her success by putting in the necessary hard work, dedication, and time. In return, Pollock has been the team’s number one player and most valuable player for the past five years. Although he describes Pollock’s talents as “somewhat natural,” he says the time she has put towards tennis has helped her a great deal. Coach Sul has contributed to Pollock’s success more so by scouting her opponents than by perfecting her swing. He helps Pollock mentally; breaking down her opponents’ strategies and utilizing their weaknesses.
Pollock is used to winning. According to the Post Standard, in the years 2011-2013, Pollock has won 30 singles matches, and had only lost four. Coach Sul says the team is so used to Pollock being “awesome,” that they have been desensitized to her success. Senior teammate Olivia Melton says Pollock is “humble, which basically makes her the best person.” Melton says Pollock was a big contribution to the team and that she has also been very supportive of all her teammates. Junior teammate Arianna Hege agrees with Melton, saying Pollock is humble about her achievements.
Pollock practiced with her team Monday through Friday for one and a half hours each day. On weekends, Pollock would personally practice for three to four hours. On top of the hours of practice, Pollock balanced school work and college applications. Her key to success: “do not procrastinate”. Although she favored tennis, Pollock knew her priorities and would never allow tennis to make her fall behind in school.
Along side Pollock is her younger sister, freshman Maya Pollock. Maya has been playing tennis since she was 7 years old and loves the game like her sister. Pollock says her and her older sister have never challenged each other in tennis, but have helped each other along the way. Pollock is proud of her sister’s achievements and plans on following in her footsteps in her upcoming tennis seasons.
Pollock’s future will include tennis no matter which college she attends. Whether it is club, intramural, or an 18 and over adult league, Pollock will continue to take her talents further.