CFNN Reporters Nick Perry & Laney Talley
Last week, the Cape Fear Women’s Tennis team defeated Grays Creek, Purnell Swett, and Lumberton with the help of Sophomore, Brianna Keen. Brianna has played extremely well this year and has earned her spot in the starting lineup this year at number 5.
Keen’s recent performances have earned her the title of this week’s CFNN Athlete of the Week.
“I may get better and improve, however I still have to push myself beyond what I think I’m capable of in order to be the best I possibly can be”, explained Keen.
Brianna got off to a slow start, losing her first match of the year, but she has won 9 straight since then. She keeps her footwork on point and her strokes strong to help her win these matches. The encouragement she receives from the team is helping her keep her record of 9-1.
Although expectations are high for this team, they continue to thrive after coming off of a State Championship in the 2021 season. The team is red hot and Cape Fear is becoming a powerhouse for girls tennis.
Assistant Coach and Men’s Head Coach Lee Osbourne has been a great help along with Coach Lucas by building the program and the team to hopefully make another deep playoff/state championship run.
“Brianna is a fiercely determined competitor that never backs down from a challenge. She is coachable under any circumstance. Bri always gives her best and encourages her teammates to do the same. She achieved incredible feats as a freshman, and her potential is limitless on the tennis court.” Said Coach Lucas.
Not only does Keen outshow on the courts, she does the same in class. Brianna is in Beta Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes club, and FFA (future farmers of America). She also takes all Honors and AP courses.
Keen’s schedule is definitely a busy one, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. Being active and being involved in all aspects of Cape Fear is what makes her happy.
Overall she has outscored her opponents 86-18 while only losing one game to a tough opponent on New Hannover. Brianna has not only dominated her competition this year in singles, moving into conference she has not lost a doubles match at all putting her at 20-2 on the year and is still undefeated in conference play.
“Honestly I didn’t want to start tennis. My mom quite literally made me go to a tennis lesson with this random guy, named Mr. Lucas. Immediately from that first lesson, I knew tennis was the sport I was supposed to play. My mom had wanted me to try a new sport, other than the sports I had played before. Luckily tennis was that new sport for me,” said Keen.
Brianna has stunned a lot of people. The quote from above is shocking to hear because of how well she does and succeeds on the court, especially as a first timer. Brianna is a great athlete and has improved since the beginning of the season. Keen deserves Athlete of the Week considering the hard work ethic she has on the tennis court, as well as in the classroom.