Bridgham looks to build off recent success for Pine-Richland
By Jerry Clark
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, 9:30 p.m.
Unlike many successful tennis players, Pine-Richland's Marlys Bridgham did not begin playing tennis at an early age. The junior was going on 11 years old when he picked up a tennis racket, but she has continued to improve as she has grown.
“That summer my mom took me to a tennis clinic at Lakevue Athletic Club, and I worked with Krishnan Anandan,” Bridgham said. “He really helped me grow.”
It's been a while since that summer, but Bridgham has continued to grow. She has earned two WPIAL section titles, made it to the WPIAL tournament and by season's end may reach the top four in career wins at Pine-Richland.
“Marlys is an all-court player, and she works very hard,” Pine-Richland coach Janet Chappell said.
“She is very fit and that is what separates her from the rest of the team.”
Bridgham tried her hand at other sports like basketball and swimming, but tennis was just too much to step away from. She likes the mental aspect of the game, and although she said she is a team player, she likes a certain amount of competition from an individual standpoint.
Her best skill on the court, according to Marlys and her coach, is her defensive game.
“It definitely is my strength — my defense helps me a lot,” Bridgham said.
“I can dig out points and run down shots ... I do a lot of cross training so I can stay in shape.”
A good warm up always is part of her pre-game agenda.
“I try not to think too much about the opponent. I have to play the ball coming across the net, not the player,” she said. “I have to go out and play my game.”
The method has led to two section titles and some wins in USTA tournaments, something she said is a lot of fun when she is playing well.
Perhaps her best moment to date was a trip to the Easter Bowl in California. She said it was an awesome experience because she got to play with and against so many good players.
“It was an honor just to make it there,” she said.
Because she has some experience, Bridgham said she offers advice to the younger and less-experienced players on her Pine-Richland team. She added that the upperclassmen reaching out to her as a freshman made all the difference in her development.
“I looked up to the seniors ... they seemed so much older,” she said.
“I try to be a good leader and teammate. I hit with them, too.
“It's not just about tennis, though, it's hanging out as a team and welcoming them so they can relax.”
As for the future, Bridgham was not happy with how the WPIAL singles panned out for her, so her focus has shifted to doubles.
She plans to keep working so she can place better at WPIALs, make states and hopes to keep her string of section titles going.
Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins center Malkin won’t play tonight vs. Sharks
- Kovacevic: Got proof on Tomlin? Let’s hear it
- Election code violations against Bullskin supervisors waived to county court
- Ex-Penguins winger Kennedy ‘emotional’ about return
- Connellsville man headed to Fayette court
- Schmotzer resigns high-paid administrative job with Baldwin-Whitehall
- Ravenstahl opposes Peduto’s early retirement plan
- Ex-Steeler WR Wallace: It was a ‘challenge’ for Haley to use me
- Beaver County residents sue FirstEnergy Corp. over coal waste dump
- Dozens of workers strike outside Downtown fast-food locations
- Sewickley Light Up Night planned Friday: Events, detours, parking, more