In her first season of varsity high school team tennis, Anna freshman Morgan Sharp has been named District 11-4A’s Newcomer of the Year. Sharp compiled a 10-3 record in singles play this fall and a 10-4 mark in doubles with partner Andrea Alvarez.
“I was excited,” Sharp said of learning of the achievement last Thursday at AHS. “I mean, it was kind of expected. I have big goals, so that was just something along the way, I guess. … I did have a good season.”
Sharp said she has played competitive tennis since she was about 8 years old but has swung a racket “for as long as I could walk.” She’s had plenty of experience in United State Tennis Association play and is a USTA Texas championship-level player. Her father – and Anna head tennis coach – Vince Sharp has been there all the way.
“She was just really poised,” Coach Sharp said of his daughter’s first turn through high school. “She looked like a senior on the court. She doesn’t get rattled. She’ll get out there and play like she’s not afraid to lose. It just seems like she’s under control. We call her ‘The Robot.’ … Not a lot of girls serve as well as she does. It sets her up really nicely, especially if girls aren’t good at returning harder serves.
“I’ve had a freshman player have a much success as she’s had. I’ve had some do really well, but not the way she has.”
“He’s always been my coach,” Sharp said, “so it wasn’t that big of a change. It’s fun having him being able to coach me in matches since he wasn’t able to in USTA [due to association rules.] … In USTA, I think there’s harder competition. I’ve been used to playing harder people so it made high school easier for me.”
Asked why she likes tennis, Sharp said, “I like coming out and it being kind of an escape. If I have a bad day, I can come out and leave it all behind me and just play tennis.”
As for her doubles success with Alvarez, Sharp said, “We just know each other. We know how we play. We know how to keep our attitudes good. We’re compatible in that way.”
Sharp’s younger sister Ella - another USTA championship-level player - will join her on Anna’s team in 2021. “I’m excited for Ella to be on the court,” Sharp grinned. “Sometimes she annoys me but I still love her.”
The Coyotes finished district play this fall as the No. 2 seed and were preparing Thursday to face North Dallas on Tuesday in the bi-district playoffs. “I think we’ll make it pretty far in the playoffs,” Sharp said. “Our team is good and I’m confident in them.”
Last year’s Anna squad reached the regional semifinals for the first time in school history before falling to No. 4 state-ranked Midlothian Heritage.