Eagles first singles player Kelly Pleiman capped her senior season with a fourth-place Division II singles finish at the OHSAA Girls State Tennis Championships at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
As a state placer, Kelly joins elite company – both at Chaminade Julienne and in the Pleiman family. Kelly’s fourth-place state finish matched that of sister Katie’s best singles finish in 2008. Big sisters Christie ‘07 and Katie ‘09 did, however, place second in doubles in 2006 when Christie was a senior and Katie a sophomore. Katie also placed second in doubles in 2007 with Nicci Dresden, ‘10.
Coach Jim Brooks – who has known Kelly since she was a young girl cheering on her big sisters – was not at all surprised to see her playing in her third state tournament last week.
“She works very hard,” Brooks said. “And it paid off.”
After bowing out in the first round the past two seasons, Kelly’s biggest goal this year was to advance to the state semifinals. She fought to a 6-4, 0-6, 6-1 first-round win Friday followed by a less taxing 6-4, 6-2 straight-set quarterfinal win to advance to the semifinals.
“I was so motivated to get to Saturday,” she said.
While her high school tennis career is over, Pleiman plans to play in college.
Brooks knows he has big shoes to fill as Kelly – after three seasons at first singles – closed out the Pleiman era at CJ. The Eagles, who qualified six players to the district tournament, will lose four seniors to graduation.
“Life gets tougher for me, that’s for sure,” Brooks said.