The C.C. Lee Tennis Tournament has a history of drawing some of the top players in the region, state and even the Upper Midwest.
This year is no different as two of the top girls’ players from Sioux Falls Washington are playing in the tourney at the Northern State courts in Aberdeen this week. The tourney ends today.
At the 2012 state tourney, Berkley Darr was third in No. 1 singles and she and partner Mical Johnson were second in No. 1 doubles.
“I have been playing lots of tennis this summer, a lot of tourneys,” Darr said. “I have been going pretty much every weekend. I just got done with Brookings Sunday, now Aberdeen and then Brandon this weekend. This fall, I want to do better than I did at last year’s state tournament.”
Darr will be a senior this fall and Johnson a junior. Johnson was second in the state in No. 2 singles last fall. The doubles partners both earned their way onto the all-tourney team.
Last year, Darr won the C.C. Lee 16 and under title and she and a different partner won the 18 and under doubles title.
“I am just starting to play in the 18 and under singles division this summer,” Darr said. “It has been going really well. And I am excited for my high school season to start.”
Darr wants to play college tennis, but does not know where yet. “I am just trying to improve. That is why I like to play in these different tournaments during the summer. In the summer, I play a lot of people who I don’t play during the high school season. Playing against new competition and different types of players helps you expand and improve your game.”
She also likes to play in cities where she usually doesn’t get to play, like Aberdeen.
“I enjoyed playing in the C.C. Lee for the first time last year,” Darr said. “It was good competition and it was fun.”
Paige Prissel is weather proof when it comes to her tennis game.
The Aberdeen girl who will be a senior at Central this fall has been around tennis long enough to know that patience is the best strategy when Mother Nature is one of your opponents. Players in Monday’s opening day of the C.C. Lee Tourney had to exhibit a lot patience during a couple of lengthy weather delays that soaked the courts.
“I think they (weather delays) affect everyone differently,” Prissel said. “It can mess with you mentally if you let it, but I try not to let it get into my head.”
At 12:30 p.m. Monday, Prissel had yet to be on the court. Her first match had been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Plus, the skies then opened up over the noon hour to cause even further delays.
“You just have to push through the weather delays because everyone has to deal with them,” Prissel said.
Prissel said she is having a good summer and she is excited to be at home this week for a tourney. “It is fun to play at home. A lot of good players come to the C.C. Lee and it is a good tournament. It is nice not to have to drive somewhere else to play.”
Prissel has been getting in a lot of tennis to prepare for her final season of high school tennis this fall. “I think we are going to have a strong team,” she said. “It is going to be a fun year.”