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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Brighton girls tennis led by sophomore Avery Olsen

Oct 10, 2023 03:21PM ● By Jerry S. Christensen

Brighton sophomore Avery Olsen eyes a No. 1 singles state championship. (Photo by David Kenas Photography)

Fifty-three girls comprise the Brighton girls tennis team, including 12 seniors and two foreign exchange students. “All the girls have been playing all summer to get on the team and get a spot,” said coach Natalie Meyer. Leading the way is 15-year-old sophomore Avery Olsen who narrowly missed being a No. 1 singles state champion last fall in the state finals. 

Avery Olsen trains four hours a day, she doesn’t take weekends off, she always hits on vacations and there aren’t many holidays when she doesn’t fit in training. She is self-motivated and never complains. One of her many favorite quotes is by her idol Kobe Bryant: “Dedication makes dreams come true.” She has big dreams and she isn’t afraid to put in the work.

“She took first in Region in September playing first varsity singles position and will continue on to compete for the Utah 5A State title in October. She lost in a tough three-set battle last year, and is more determined than ever to take the title this year,” according to her mother and No. 1 fan Kristy Olsen. 

There are many highs and lows in the sport of tennis and it is not very often that Avery Olsen is satisfied or content. When she wins, it is a moment of brief fulfillment, but then it is back to training and trying to get better. “Losses fire me up and make me more determined to work harder,” Avery Olsen said. 

Most of her tournaments take her all over the country. She plays all the high-level junior tennis tournaments which include Easter Bowl, Orange Bowl, National Hardcourts, Indoor Nationals and Winter Nationals. Traveling to these tournaments enables her to play all the best players in the country in high pressure situations. There are many wins and even more losses playing the best, but what is always guaranteed is that she learns invaluable lessons and comes home better for it. 

There is a lot of sacrifice training in what is often called “the most lonely sport.” She is usually traveling on her own out of state with one of her parents, not with a team. She misses out on many social weekends with friends. Because of this, it makes playing with the Brighton tennis team so special for her. She loves being part of a team, and playing for and representing Brighton High. 

“Avery is an exceptional player that is a key contender for the state title,” Meyer said. 

At the pace that Avery Olsen is on, she will likely become the latest in Brighton's string of tennis state champions.λ