Brown inks with Barton

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 20, 2006

LASKER – Lyndal Brown won’t be hanging up her tennis racket any time soon.

The Northeast Academy graduate will be taking her tennis talent to Barton College this fall, where she has received a scholarship to play for the Bulldogs.

Brown is the first Eagles tennis player to receive a college scholarship.

Playing at the collegiate level was not always in Brown’s plan.

&uot;I was approached by Coach (Mark) Walters at the state tennis tournament this year.

With the success the team had this year playing tennis competitively was something I wanted to continue,&uot; Brown said.

Northeast finished second at the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association 1-A state tournament.

Brown ended the season ranked third in the state with a 15-4 record.

In doubles, she and Laura Boone finished second in the NCISAA.

Starting her tennis career in the seventh grade, Brown was promoted to varsity during her freshman year.

As a sophomore, Brown played as Northeast’s number one seed, a ranking she held for three years.

&uot;She played number six as a freshman and had to learn the game,&uot; said Jake Campbell, head coach at Northeast.

&uot;She stayed with it and worked hard.

She’s proof that if you stay with it you’ll develop and come out pretty good.&uot;

Campbell feels strongly that Brown is ready for competition at the next level.

&uot;She is a fierce competitor,&uot; he said. &uot; She’ll put in the practice time.

If her game is not going well she’ll stay and put in overtime.&uot;

That overtime has helped Brown develop a &uot;tremendous overhead&uot; that helps her cover more of the court according to Campbell.

&uot;She hits so hard if you’re in the way you’ll end up with a whelp,&uot; Campbell said.

Campbell also praised Brown’s net play, saying,

&uot;Her net play is outstanding.

I dare say she’ll be better than anyone at Barton at the net.&uot;

Barton head coach Mark Walters was also impressed by Brown’s net play.

&uot;Lyndal is strong at the net,&uot; he said. &uot; What really impressed me was that she’s tenacious.

She has a never give up attitude on the court.&uot;

&uot;From the standpoint of polish she has room for improving her technique but it’s hard to find a Division II player that’s a leader, won’t give up when they get down a set and works hard,&uot; Walters continued.

&uot;I know she’s going to add to our team in all aspects,&uot; he added

Brown credits Campbell for much of her success.

&uot;Mr. Campbell has always been supportive of the whole team,&uot; Brown said. &uot;He works with us at 8:00 a.m. until we want to leave.&uot;

Her teammates have also helped Brown make it to the collegiate level.

&uot;We wanted to get to the state tournament level this year so we pushed each other,&uot; she insisted. &uot;The team really pushed me to strive to be better.&uot;

Playing tennis three times a week in the off-season also helped Brown develop her skills.

Many of those matches are against adult men, including Campbell.

&uot;Seeing the different types of tennis you can have really helps you.

It keeps you competitive,&uot; said Brown.

Campbell agrees that playing a variety of opponents has helped Brown’s game.

He admits she &uot;sometimes beats us.&uot;

Playing for Barton will afford Brown the opportunity to travel as the team hits the road for tournament play this fall.

Conference play starts in February.

Brown will play singles and may also play doubles.

Training for the fall season is already underway.

Brown is going to camps and clinics at Barton and competing in league play.

&uot;Some of the other girls are there getting ready so Lyndal is seeing different players and what she’ll be up against,&uot; said Brown’s mother, Joella.

&uot;I’m real excited for her and very proud,&uot; Brown continued.

&uot;She’s worked mighty hard and she loves the game.&uot;

Brown will be active in the classroom as well, majoring in Physical Therapy.

The daughter of John and Joella Brown of Jackson, she plans to pursue a career in pediatric physical therapy.