As the Granbury High tennis team prepares to open its fall season, its top player is coming off a busy and productive summer.
Kate Bramlett, who will be a senior, moved up in United States Tennis Association (USTA) competition to Super Champion 18s. That put her in a bracket playing opposite girls who were getting ready to play college tennis this fall.
Last spring Kate and her partner, Elizabeth Morton, also a returning senior, powered their way to the Class 4A state doubles semifinals. The last time a GHS tennis player qualified for state was 1964.
The duo also helped the Pirates reach regionals in team tennis two straight years.
The route to regionals in team tennis has an extra stop this season, per a University Interscholastic League rules change. As it is in other team sports, four squads will now advance from each district (it was two), and they will play an area match before moving on to regionals.
“It’s an extra step, but it will be a little less jammed at regionals,” said Granbury coach Jeff Bramlett.
The success of Granbury players, along with Kate’s performances on the USTA circuit, have grabbed the attention of college coaches.
“There is a strong contingent of college coaches taking notes on each match,” said coach Bramlett, Kate’s father.
“Kate being the new kid on the block had to start out at the very bottom out of 150 girls in that division.”
Kate recently won three matches in the Sectional Grand Slam, which included defeating a three-star recruit. The other two were against two-star players, one of whom has signed to play for Colgate University.
That was followed by her winning a tournament in Wichita Falls and taking second in an Arlington tournament. This moved her up in the rankings to No. 75 in the state.
Kate’s ranking on TennisRecruiting.com is 40th in Texas.
“I’ve definitely seen a jump since last summer. Overall, my game has improved,” said Kate.
“This being my senior year, I just hope it’s going to be the best year. I definitely want to go back down to Austin.”
She added that while competing against players in Texas has made her better, they are also the ones she will have to go through to make that return to Austin.
“Tennis in Texas is really good,” she said. “I’ve seen two-star recruits from other states put up against Texas players, and our players make them seem like half-star recruits.”
Coach Bramlett said that while Kate has been climbing the USTA ladder, the rest of the team has also been working hard all summer getting ready for the new season.
In all, Granbury has six returning boy starters and four returning girl starters.
Morton played in a couple of Zone Area Tournaments, which are always tough. Also, Peter Mueller spent three weeks at John Newcomb’s Tennis Camp and played the Austin ZAT. Alex Jenny played in the Waco ZAT, and Joel Rodgers has been playing all summer at the prestigious All Saints Tennis Academy in Fort Worth, where Kate also plays.
“Everyone has worked hard to make themselves better, and I think it is going to pay off,” said coach Bramlett. “I can’t wait until the season starts. It will be fun to see how much everyone has improved.”
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