Prep Tennis: Lee Williams' Morley, Nielsen, Villar end their careers with win over Yuma
KINGMAN – Kaylee Morley experienced the storybook ending that many strive for in their career.
It may not have been easy, but the Lee Williams High School senior rose to the occasion and finished with an unblemished 20-0 combined record in singles and doubles play as the Lady Vols cruised to a 9-0 sweep of No. 51 ranked Yuma on Tuesday at Centennial Park.
“It feels really good to know that I worked my butt off all year,” Morley said. “And just to know I gave it my all.”
Morley proved that in her singles match as she battled with Yuma’s Jwliannah Ortega, but came out on top 6-1, 6-3 to improve to a perfect 10-0.
“She had some really, really good hits,” Morley said of Ortega. “It was a good run for me. So it was a good way to end my senior year. I really enjoyed it.”
Morley’s run started earlier in the day when she put the finishing touches on a 10-0 record in doubles as she joined junior Amber Tefft to defeat Yuma’s Stefani Sesma/Aisslinn Alavez 8-2.
But that moment wasn’t as memorable as the combined Senior Day that was held prior to the match.
The three Lady Vols seniors – Morley, Faith Nielsen and Gabriela Villar – joined Vols seniors Jordon Freeman, Chase Camacho and Matthew Popeil to celebrate together one final time.
“It was nice to have our whole big family here,” Morley said. “I’ve been playing tennis with those boys since freshman year. So it was really nice to rejoice and end it all with them.”
Nielson felt the same way and was glad the teams were able to gather together unlike the previous season.
“This was the first year we did something like that for the seniors,” Nielsen said.
But it still was a bittersweet moment as the Lady Vols knew it would be the last time on their home court.
Nielsen hadn’t completely come to terms with that fact after she and freshman Macie Wilson notched an 8-6 win over Yajahira Covarrubias/Jamilet Nunez at No. 1 doubles.
“It probably will when I start my singles match,” Nielsen said. “But that was my last time playing doubles – it hasn’t hit me.”
Unfortunately, Nielsen wasn’t able to finish her singles match as she was up 3-0 when a rain storm hit and forced Yuma to forfeit.
Villar, meanwhile, did wrap up her last match with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Isabellah Ortega and joined Arden Schickner for an 8-0 win at No. 2 doubles.
And just like that, the season was over.
But not before the No. 25 Lady Vols finished with their best record in program history at 11-4, and their improved confidence since freshmen year had a lot to do with the success.
“As the years went on, we just started progressing,” Nielsen said. “So that was really cool to see.”