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Andover tennis players Dohee Lee, left, and Grace Ball hope to help the Trojans win another Class 5A championship.

Andover tennis players Dohee Lee, left, and Grace Ball hope to help the Trojans win another Class 5A championship. Fernando Salazar/ The Wichita Eagle | Buy this photo

Andover’s Dohee Lee focuses on future tennis success

Published August 22 at 5:04 p.m. | Last updated August 22 at 5:05 p.m.

Andover’s returning state girls tennis champion, Dohee Lee, suffered one loss during the regular season as she led her team to its first league, regional and state titles. All as a freshman.

Lee even redeemed the loss on the biggest stage, beating Bishop Carroll senior Courtney Lubbers in the 5A final, and she doesn’t plan on getting complacent this season. She plans on coming back better.

“Winning as a team meant a lot. It was really awesome,” Lee said. “I’m proud of myself and of my team for last year’s accomplishments, but it’s a new year and we are looking ahead at our current goals this season.”

Since becoming a state champion, Lee knows she has a target on her back, and her goal is to continue to refine her game while trying to break into the top 10 in the 18-year-old division of the U.S. Tennis Association. When Lee is at practice she is working on adjusting to the wind and perfecting her forehand, emulating her favorite player, Roger Federer. She comes to practice every day with the mindset that she has to push herself and her teammates to not rest on last year’s success.

Andover coach Jessica Dibble has taken notice of her star athlete’s work ethic and believes it will take her further as she progresses.

“Dohee is an incredibly hard worker. She has high goals and has the work ethic to reach them. She has impacted our team tremendously with her energetic personality and her incredible talent on the court,” Dibble said.

Last season, Lee and her freshman counterpart Grace Ball were the catalysts in the emergence of Andover’s tennis program. Lee’s desire to improve and her love for tennis transcend all of her accomplishments.

“Tennis has always been the sport that I didn’t want to give up,” Lee said. “Playing tennis challenges me in life to always strive to do better and never give up. I love that it shows all the emotions, and we have to challenge ourselves to control them. I dislike nothing about the sport — I just love it.”

Lee said when she isn’t on the tennis courts, she is usually with her friends watching movies, or somewhere creating something.

“Drawing is big hobby of mine, so is arts and crafts. Arts and crafts keeps me focused on things outside of tennis, because to me it doesn’t correlate much, but art and drawing calms me. The attention to detail I have to put into each drawing sort of transfers over to my tennis game. I have to focus on every detail,” Lee said.

Lee is a sophomore and she knows her game should continue to expand as she matures. Not caught up in her early success, Lee already has a set plan on the things she wants to improve and her ideal situation when it’s time to look for colleges.

“I have been thinking about college a lot lately, and I want to go somewhere warm, with excellent tennis facilities and a great training program,” she said. “Those are the things I know I need. Playing tennis brings me joy. There are no bad days overall for me, because every day I’m doing something I love.

“I plan on playing until I can’t walk or hold a grip.”

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