MASON — Claire Burns illustrious tennis career at Wilmington High School ended a week earlier than she would have hoped.
The WHS senior was bounced from the Division I Southwest District tennis tournament Thursday afternoon at the Lindner Family Tennis Center by Sarah Clark of Turpin, 1-6, 0-6.
“Claire played pretty well,” WHS tennis coach Doug Cooper said. “She made some errors but not many. Points that were won, were won; not given up.”
Clark was just too much on this day and ended Burns’ bid for a second straight appearance in the OHSAA Division I state girls tennis tournament.
“Claire hit some really good balls to Sarah,” Cooper said. “But the kid makes a play for a winner like it’s routine. Not much you can do when you are facing a player who can hit shots like that.”
Burns opened the district tournament with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Olivia Warren of Tecumseh Thursday morning.
But in the opening match, Burns began favor her left leg a bit, not to suggest it was an excuse for the loss. Clark was powerful and accurate in all phases of the game Thursday.
The loss, though disheartening, will not put a damper on one of the best tennis careers in WHS history.
Burns has 110 wins for her career, most in WHS and Clinton County tennis history. Sodini was the previous WHS record holder with 101 wins. During her junior and senior seasons, Burns only losses came to state qualifiers.
She was a state qualifier in 2020, a three-time district qualifier, a three-time SBAAC American Division tennis player of the year, a four-time SBAAC American Division first-team tennis player and a three-time Miami Valley Tennis Coaches Association first-team player.
“She’s set a new standard of excellence for Wilmington tennis, boys or girls,” Cooper said. “There are many great tennis players in Wilmington High School history. Now you can add Claire Burns name to that list.”