Sophomore Amiya Bowles won her second girls tennis state title Friday, Oct. 20 with a final score of 6-1, 6-2.
After preparing for the match all season long with her dad, Bowles came ready to take down opponent Martha Thompson from Indian Hill High School for the second year in a row, she explained.
Bowles said in order to get ready for this match, she worked consistently with her dad perfecting her art. Bowles said while she walked into her match, she took in the support she felt from her teammates.
“I felt excited,” she said. “I knew it was the final and I was really eager to get another state championship.”
Despite Bowles wanting another championship, she explained the highlight of her season this year was her first match back after winning her first state title last season. The energy that she could feel from her teammates and the fans was an unbelievable feeling, she explained.
Bowles believes her mental strength is what led to her success, even during high-pressure games like this one. She said her ability to stay mentally focused throughout the match is one of her biggest strengths.
“This year, coming in I was feeling way more confident in myself and my abilities, and it really showed in my matches,” Bowles added.
She said she was aware of her advantage compared to the other girls she has competed against this season due to the many different levels she has played on that they have not.
Bowles originally started playing tennis when she was 4 but started taking it more seriously when she was 11, she said.
“Tennis is what I grew up watching more of than any other sport, and that is what influenced me to want to try it more,” Bowles said.
She explained her goal is to play in college and eventually go pro, but she is going to wait and see where her success takes her. Bowles said the support from people around her has been crucial for her success.
“I would like to thank my coaches, thank my teammates and thank Bexley for the support they gave me,” she added.
Girls varsity tennis head coach Heath Goolsby said he had a bittersweet reaction to watching Bowles winning the state title for the second year.
“I know it took a toll and continues to take a toll on her from missing school,” he said. “The time she puts in on the court is time away from family, academics.”
Goolsby added that he was ecstatic to see Bowles return to the state tournament her sophomore year.
After coaching Bowles for three years, Goolsby believes she has become a role model for the other girls on the team, making them want to perform on a higher level.
“She just helps solidify our team culture,” Goolsby said.
Watching Bowles accomplish her goals has been the ultimate dream for Goolsby as a coach, he said.
“All I want is what is best for Amiya and what is best for her teammates,” Goolsby added.