Zionsville’s Anna & Lauren Campbell Net Impressive Tennis Season
Writer: Jon Shoulders
Photographer: Ron Wise
Before the 2018 IHSAA tennis season even got rolling, sisters Anna and Lauren Campbell had a mutual feeling that their foray into doubles competition would be met with success.
It was the first season that Anna and Lauren, a senior and sophomore respectively during the 2017-2018 academic year, took to the court together in a doubles capacity for the Zionsville Eagles, but trust in their respective skills, and in each other, paved the way.
“We started planting the seeds with Coach Moore about playing doubles last season before we knew he was leaving,” Anna says, referring to Matt Moore, who stepped down as coach of the Eagles’ boys and girls tennis teams last September. “Stephanie Reece, our coach now, had actually become our private coach prior to this season, so she knew since August that we were likely to play doubles. So it was kind of in the works early on.”
And play doubles they did – handily. Going into the postseason, the Campbells, who are originally from Iowa and have lived in Zionsville since 2006, had just two losses on their official record. After defeating Brownsburg at regionals, a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Penn in the quarterfinals propelled the sisters to the IHSAA state semi-finals. They fell to eventual doubles state champs Meg Coleman and Claire Koscielski of Cathedral, who beat out Megna Chari and Kathryn Hodzen of Columbus East for the title.
The Campbells finished off the season with a 22-4 overall record including two losses to Cathedral, and Anna says the regional victory over Brownsburg was probably the high point of her doubles journey with Lauren.
“That day (at regionals) we lost the first set 6-0, then we were down three games in the second set,” says Anna, who played singles during her previous three years as an Eagle. “So we lost nine games in a row before we won a game against them, but we didn’t lose focus. It was funny because the moment we won our first game their crowd went silent and you could tell everyone started getting a little nervous on their side.”
Lauren adds that she and Anna both began playing tennis around the age of six, and a thorough familiarity with each other’s playing style helped to make them effective as an on-court duo.
“We’ve played a lot together over the years and as a family because my mom and brother also play tennis,” she says. “We also played in a couple tournaments together a few years ago. We are fighters and we play really well when we’re behind. We do really well under pressure and we can always help each other up mentally, which is a big part of the game.”
Anna is off to Indiana University-Bloomington this fall where she will attend the Kelley School of Business with a focus on marketing and entrepreneurship, and she’s not quite finished with tennis yet. She plans to explore the possibility of joining the school’s club squad.
“I knew coming into high school that I didn’t want to do collegiate tennis, so I didn’t pursue any recruiting in the last few years,” Anna says. “I’m ready to focus on academics, although it will be fun to see about playing with the club team.”
The Campbells both feel competing together at the high school level was a special experience neither will forget, and Lauren adds that she’s ready to play doubles again next season for the Eagles if the opportunity arises.
“I’m open to anything tennis-wise, as far as playing doubles again or in a singles position,” she says. “Anywhere Stephanie and the team needs me, that’s where I’ll be. It would definitely be different playing with someone else in doubles, but all the girls on the team are great and we get along really well so I’m excited for whatever happens.”