North’s Wilson set to compete in state singles tournament

It’s been nearly two weeks since Ashlie Wilson played in a competitive tennis match, but the Columbus North senior has kept herself awfully busy with tennis.

Wilson hopes it’ll pay off today and possibly Saturday. She competes in the quarterfinals against Franklin’s Rylie Wilkison in the State Singles Finals beginning at 2 p.m. today at Park Tudor High School in Indianapolis.

Wilson said she’s heard of Wilkison before because their parents are friends from college, but Wilson hasn’t played against Wilkison. That’ll all change today.

Wilson has prepped herself for the competition ahead. She’s gotten private lessons with a coach at Center Grove. She traveled to Purdue earlier this week to do some hitting with players, including one of her future Boilermaker teammates. She’s hit with her sister Kathryn during a practice session on Wednesday.

“I’m making sure that I get enough practice in. I’ve been working on moving really well and getting low,” Ashlie Wilson said. “I’m working super-hard during practice and making sure I get some point-match play in, as well, since we’re not in season right now, so I haven’t been doing that as much.”

Ashlie Wilson has a 14-2 record this season at No. 1 singles, while Wilkison has been undefeated this season at 17-0.

North coach Kendal Hammel said one of the biggest keys for Wilson to be successful this weekend is making sure to stay confident and be positive in herself.

“She’s worked really hard in this last year and this last week, and you’ve been seeing it on the court and off the court and putting in the extra work,” Hammel said. “She’s been one of the hardest working girls that I’ve had in all the years. She’s hitting the ball great. She’s moving the ball around really well. She knows what she wants to do in her game play as far as setting up the points and executing everything through in that aspect.”

Should Wilson advance to Saturday morning’s 10 a.m. semifinal, there’s the possibility of a potential matchup with Evansville Memorial senior and Kentucky recruit Ellie Myers. The two have met twice previously in the Jasper Semistate as freshmen and as juniors last year. Myers won both the matchups. The winner of that match would advance to the 2 p.m. final.

Wilson’s mind, though, is clearly focused on Wilkison. Her high school tennis career will come to an end after the weekend, but she isn’t done with playing tennis. She committed to play for Purdue last year.

Regardless of how the results turn out, she is glad to be participating in the state finals tournament one last time.

“I’m super excited,” Wilson said. “I’m not feeling any pressure or anything like that. I have nothing to lose, so I’m going to go out there and have fun and enjoy the experience and be grateful for even being able to be in this finals.”