The impatience of youth sometimes gets the best of Nina Kisin, but the freshman for the Hilliard Bradley High School girls tennis team is working on that.
Kisin was 11-1 at second singles before a match against Jonathan Alder on Sept. 19, but still fights the urge to smash the ball as hard as possible instead of setting up her opponent.
"I'm the kind of player who wants to get it over with and just smash the ball," Kisin said. "When my opponent serves to me, I just want to finish it right after that. I want to hit it somewhere where they can't get it. But you want to move your opponent first.
"If you hit it over to the left side and they are over there, then you can finish. But right away, I want to finish. I need to hit every ball back and wait until the right moment to finish the point. I just want to finish the point way too early."
Donna Long has been preaching the virtues of patience to Kisin, and the third-year coach has noticed a difference.
"Every ball Nina gets, she wants to crush it, so we have been talking about patience and location as being equally important," said Long, whose team was 8-4 overall and 4-2 in the OCC-Cardinal Division after losing to Thomas Worthington 3-2 on Sept. 18. "That's a maturity thing. That comes from playing matches and maturing. When she gets those things in her game on a regular basis, she is going to be really, really hard to beat because she has all of the power she needs."
Kisin's parents moved to the U.S. in the 1990s. Her father, Isak, came from Serbia and her mother, Dejana, is from Croatia. They were looking for a sport for their daughter to excel in, and she fell in love with tennis.
"I started playing in like the first grade and then started in tournaments when I was in the fifth or sixth grade," Kisin said. "Other sports are like physical sports. But in tennis, you have to think about where you want to put the ball. In most of the other sports, you work as a team, but tennis is more of an individual thing. I have always liked it."
As a singles player, Kisin appreciates the team aspect that comes with playing for a high school program, and she likes having teammates cheer her on during matches.
"My teammates support me and, if I miss a shot, they help me out," she said. "When I play in USTA tournaments, it's just me and my parents and my opponent and her parents are watching. If I miss, it's all on me. It's nice to have that support (playing for a high school program)."
Entering play Sept. 19, Kisin's only loss came against Dublin Jerome's Reagan Resor, 6-0, 6-1 on Aug. 31.
"Nina was intimidated when she got off the bus (at Jerome)," Long said. "She was like, 'I've played them before, and they're good.' I told her, 'Instead of being afraid, let's look at it as an opportunity because you have nothing to lose. Here's an opportunity to put Nina on the board by playing well and getting someone's attention.' "
Kisin admitted to sometimes being intimidated, but that feeling is starting to subside.
"I didn't know what to expect (in high school)," she said. "I was always the best in middle school tennis because they were all beginners. I thought maybe it would be the same in high school, but it isn't. They are all experienced players and are actually all pretty good. It's been a lot of fun."
Girls golfers finish
third in league
The girls golf team finished third in the OCC-Cardinal tournament at 17-7, behind Jerome (24-0) and Delaware (19-5) and ahead of Dublin Scioto (10-14), Worthington Kilbourne (7-17), Darby (4-20) and Thomas (3-21).
In the fourth and final round of league play Sept. 12 at Cooks Creek, the Jaguars shot a 401 to place third behind Jerome (317) and Delaware (399) and ahead of Scioto (441), Darby (445), Kilbourne (489) and Thomas (no score).
Claire Waggener led Bradley with an 88, followed by Grace Christman (101), Grace Hribar and Emma Walls (both 106) and Haylee Lombardi (112).
Waggener led the Jaguars with a 89.0 league average and Hribar averaged 101.0. Jerome's Taby Robinson was league Player of the Year with a 75.3 average.
The Jaguars will play in a Division I sectional Oct. 3 at Royal American. The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 10 at Cooks Creek.
Boys golfers finish
fifth in league
The boys golf team finished fifth in the OCC-Cardinal tournament at 7-17, behind Jerome (22-1), Thomas (19-5), Scioto (18-6) and Kilbourne (11-13) and ahead of Darby (6-18) and Dela-ware (0-24).
In the fourth and final round of league play Sept. 13 at Clover Valley, the Jaguars shot a 336 to place fifth, behind Scioto (291), Jerome (293), Thomas (310) and Kilbourne (331) and ahead of Darby (345) and Delaware (373).
Tyler Mordarski carded a 79 to lead Bradley, followed by Tison Alexander (83), Dylan Hall (86), Michael Chapman (90) and Luke Lehman (93).
Alexander led the Jaguars with a 84.75 league average and Mordarski averaged 85.33. Jerome's Ethan Snyder was league Player of the Year with a 73.25 average.
The Jaguars will play in a Division I sectional Oct. 3 at Darby Creek. The top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 10 at Apple Valley.
Below are the coming schedules for the Bradley cross country, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 23 -- Tiger Invitational at Pickerington Central
Sept. 23 -- Pickerington Central Invitational at Turnberry
Sept. 25 -- Darby at Thorn Apple
Sept. 26 -- Davidson at Thorn Apple
*Sept. 26 -- Home vs. Dublin Jerome
Sept. 23 -- At Gahanna
*Sept. 26 -- At Dublin Jerome
Sept. 21 -- Home vs. Marysville
Sept. 23 -- Kim Shepherd Doubles Classic at Davidson
Sept. 26 -- At Davidson
Sept. 27 -- Home vs. Westerville North
Sept. 21 -- At New Albany
Sept. 23 -- Home vs. Davidson
*Sept. 26 -- At Worthington Kilbourne. The Jaguars defeated the Wolves 25-20, 25-20, 15-25, 19-25, 15-9 on Aug. 29.