By KEVIN HARRIS
FLOYDS KNOBS —
For the last four seasons, there has been one girls’ tennis player in the Clark-Floyd area everybody has considered the best.
That player is Floyd Central’s Olivia Boesing.
“She’s the best female player I’ve ever coached,” said Rick Miller, the veteran Hall of Fame tennis coach at Floyd Central. “She’s the best female player to ever step on the court at Floyd Central.”
During her four-year career at Floyd Central, Boesing achieved a lot as the Highlanders’ No. 1 singles player.
Boesing ended her high school career with 101 victories, as she joined teammate and fellow senior Whitney Batliner as the only two Highlanders to reach the century mark in wins during their Floyd Central tenures. Boesing made the Indiana High School Tennis Coaches Association All-State first team in each of her four years at FC.
She guided the Highlanders to four consecutive sectional championships, four regional titles in a row, two semistate crowns and a runner-up finish in the IHSAA State Finals. As a junior, Boesing placed third in the IHSAA Individual Singles State Finals.
And now she is a three-time winner of the News and Tribune Area Player of the Year award.
Boesing compiled a 27-3 during her senior year this past season to collect the area’s top honor for the third year in a row.
“I’m definitely honored,” she said. “I just want to say thank you to everybody who helped me achieve all the goals I wanted to achieve.”
In 2013, Boesing helped the Highlanders register their highest finish ever in the state finals with a second-place showing.
Floyd Central began its march to the state finals by sweeping Eastern, North Harrison and Salem to capture the Floyd Central Sectional championship. Boesing did not drop a game in winning all three of her No. 1 singles sectional matches.
Boesing pulled out a three-set victory over Silver Creek standout Kat Hebble to enable the Highlanders to roll past the Dragons in the Silver Creek Regional semifinal on May 21, 5-0. Two days later, Boesing won her No. 1 singles match 6-0, 6-0 as the Highlanders defeated Jeffersonville in the regional final, 5-0.
“Mentally, she’s really tough,” Red Devils’ coach Mark Reilly said. “She knows when to go for shots and when not to. She has good hand-eye coordination, and she’s a good athlete.”
Boesing claimed her 100th high school singles win at the Jasper Semistate on May 25, defeating the Wildcats’ Abby Rogers 6-2, 6-0. Boesing’s victory helped propel the Highlanders to a 3-2 triumph over Jasper to earn a state finals berth.
Even though Boesing lost a three-set match to Greenwood’s Jackie Kawamoto, who ended up as this year’s state singles champion, in the state quarterfinals on May 31 in Indianapolis, the Highlanders pulled out a 3-2 win over the Woodmen.
In the state semifinals against Penn on June 1, Boesing upended the Kingsmen’s Haylei Snelson 6-4, 6-3 in the Highlanders’ 3-2 triumph. But Floyd Central fell short of its first state championship later that day, falling 4-1 in the final to Carmel. Boesing suffered a 6-2, 6-2 setback to the Greyhounds’ Bailey Padgett, who was this year’s state singles runner-up.
Despite not winning the state championship, Boesing is proud of what her and her teammates accomplished this past campaign.
“The season was awesome,” said Boesing, who helped Floyd Central gain some momentum into the postseason with another Hoosier Hills Conference Tournament title. “We did a lot better than we were expected to do. When you get second in the state, that’s more than you can ask for.”
After graduating a strong senior class in 2012, Boesing knew she would have to increase her leadership role at Floyd Central for the 2013 season along with Batliner and fellow Highlander senior Katherine Dauby.
“I think she took the bull by the horns. All three seniors did,” Miller said about Boesing becoming Floyd Central’s primary leader. “After they went to the state finals in 2011, their goal was to get back to the state finals.”
Miller says Boesing has been a great representative for Floyd Central and Southern Indiana tennis during her prep career.
“She had a great year. She’s a great role model and a benchmark for our program,” Miller said. “Even the area girls around here know how hard she’s worked. She’s not only a great player, but a great person.”
Reilly said Boesing has even been a huge influence to his players at HHC rival Jeff.
“She’s done a great job. She represents tennis well in our area,” Reilly said. “When our girls compliment her, that means she’s pretty good.”
Boesing has signed a national letter of intent to continue her tennis career at the University of Louisville, where she will major in elementary education.
“I really like their program,” Boesing said. “The coaches are nice and have shown a lot of interest in me.”
Another reason Boesing picked Louisville is she liked the Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter at the school.
“Along with tennis, that’s what really interested me,” she said. “When you know you have that support system already there, what more can you ask for?”
Boesing says she will join the Cardinals in July, where she will be doing a lot of strength and conditioning with her team to get her ready for the NCAA Division I level. Miller says the U of L coaches want to add 10 pounds of muscle on Boesing’s frame this coming season.
“She’s going to be great at the next level. She just needs a little more strength and a little more stamina,” Miller said.
Reilly thinks Boesing must get stronger to compete at the next level as well.
“She needs to improve on her strength. Once she does that, I think she’ll be the complete package they’re looking for,” Reilly said.
2013 ALL-AREA TEAM
Olivia Boesing, Floyd Central
Kat Hebble, Silver Creek
Alexis Applegate, Floyd Central
Whitney Batliner and Dana Frank, Floyd Central
Jules Jenks and Emily Lewis, Jeffersonville
Morgan Reilly, Jeffersonville
Jacqueline Hollkamp, Providence
Alex Jamison, Floyd Central
Katherine Dauby and Erin Patterson, Floyd Central
Macy Lancaster and Rachel Williams, Jeffersonville
Marin Kanii, New Albany
Erin Kanii, New Albany
Abby Ellis, Borden
Rebekah Knittle and Jenny Block, Silver Creek
Paige Kruer and Morgan Mast, Borden
Coach of the Year: Rick Miller, Floyd Central.