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Girls tennis 2017: Magnificat's Anna Roggenburk working hard to get back to state

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    Magnificat's Anna Roggenburk, an Avon Lake resident, works on her game. Roggenburk finished second in the state in singles last year in Division I. KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

    KRISTIN BAUER

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Magnificat’s Anna Roggenburk has amassed an impressive list of accomplishments in her high school career and she’s still only a junior.

In the last two years, the Avon Lake resident has qualified to state twice, finished as the Division I runner-up in singles last year and led the Blue Streaks to the 2016 Ohio Tennis Coaches Association state championship.

There’s only one major goal left for Roggenburk to accomplish.

“I’m hoping I can win at state this year,” Roggenburk said. “The opponents we’ve faced so far have been good and the rest of our schedule is really tough. All of this helps me get ready for state.”

Roggenburk is relying on more than just hope to win a state title. In the offseason she spends two hours a day either practicing or working with a personal trainer or both. She plays in tournaments almost every weekend and this summer traveled to San Diego for the United States Tennis Association U16 National Championships where she advanced to the round of 32.

“From the start of her freshman year I could see Anna had the focus and fire you’re looking for,” Magnificat coach Chris Johnson said. “It’s an internal thing I didn’t have to coach. Anna goes all out in every practice and pushes herself to improve.”

Roggenburk started playing tennis at age 6 when her mother, Colleen, signed her up for lessons. By age 9 she was competing in tournaments.

The rest, as they say, is history.

“My mom put me in tennis and I just really liked it and kept it going,” said Roggenburk, whose father, Matt, played tennis at St. Ignatius.

Two years ago, Roggenburk was one of four freshmen from to qualify to the state tournament. She showed she wasn’t intimidated by the competition when she won the first set of her opening match against a senior who finished third in the state the year before.

Although Roggenburk ended up losing in three sets, she showed the mental toughness that has been a trademark of her career.

“I’ve always been taught that I can beat anyone if I have the right mindset,” Roggenburk said. “You can’t go into a match thinking this girl is really good, I’m not going to win. I always think I can beat this girl no matter how good she is. I just have to stay focused.”

Johnson said Roggenburk’s first trip to the state tournament was a turning point for her.

“The first time, I think she was just happy to be there,” he said. “When she played her first match and almost won against a higher-seeded player she saw what she was capable of and she discovered how much talent she really had. After that I saw how Anna committed herself to going further and becoming a better player.”

That determination paid off last year when Roggenburk made it all the way to the state final against Hudson senior Molly Sandberg.

“When I made it to semis last year it was a really big deal,” Roggenburk said. “When I won one more match and made it to the finals, I was like, ‘Wow, this is surreal.’ It was a huge accomplishment for me.”

Tennis, especially for a singles player like Roggenburk, is a rare mix of individual and team focus. As much as Roggenburk has accomplished as an individual, Johnson said her contributions to the Magnificat program as a good teammate are equally as important.

“Anna is such a friendly girl, she’s always helping others,” Johnson said. “She doesn’t mind who she’s hitting with. She’s not one of those divas you find out there sometimes.

“During the summer Anna spent a lot of time hitting balls with one of our varsity “B” team players to help her get better. She’s always willing to sacrifice some of her time to see others get better. It’s really about the team for her.”

Roggenburk thinks her speed and her ability to transition form defense to offense and play at the net are the strongest points of her game. Johnson pointed out she has also greatly improved her serve and that there are no real weaknesses in her game.

In October, Roggenburk hopes to make her third trip to the Linder Family Tennis Center in Mason, site of the state tournament to see if her hard work and positive mindset will pay off in a that ultimate goal.

“Every day I just want to go out and give it my all in every match,” Roggenburk said. “If I try my hardest, cheer on my teammates and push myself to be the best I can be, the rest will take care of itself.”

Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.



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