Tennis States and Ritz Crackers?


(Left to right) Maria Ross ad MaryAnn Rompf

What do tennis states and Ritz crackers have in common? During the Tennis State Championships, which took place between April 16 and April 18, Mrs. Dougherty tossed a box of Ritz Crackers over the fence to players Maria Ross ’17 and MaryAnn Rompf ’17, and the box opened! Ritz Crackers went flying through the air and sprawled out across the courts. The referee gave Mrs. Dougherty the “stink eye” and she quickly picked up a broom to sweep the crackers from the court.

As soon as the court was spotless, the excitement began. Through powerful swings and outs, Maria and MaryAnn came out on top. They are now Class 1A Individual Doubles Champions and Class 1A Overall Doubles Champions. Maria, being first string, competed in the Class 1A Individual Singles and Class 1A Overall Singles and dominated them both! It’s amazing to think that the Out-of-Door Academy is number one in the states for tennis doubles and singles, and this was accomplished by freshmen!

MaryAnn and Maria, although Freshmen, have an amazing title under their belts and it took great dedication and talent to get there. MaryAnn started tennis at the age of four and started playing tournaments when she was twelve. Her mom, World Tennis Association pro tennis player, Mary Norwood Rompf, is one of her most valued supporters and coaches.

We all know Mrs. Dougherty as the head of the Upper School and only see her if we need someone to talk to, or are in deep trouble. MaryAnn and Maria see Mrs. Dougherty everyday after school for practice and are thankful for everything she has done for them.

“Mrs. Dougherty is an amazing coach. She is great at giving advice and not focusing on every little thing. She looks at the big picture. She is always at the fence when you need her. She gives positive advice that helps me a lot,” MaryAnn said.

“I thank the team, Mrs. Dougherty, and other people outside of school in my tennis life for my accomplishment,” MaryAnn said.

“It didn’t really sink in that we actually won states for the entire state of Florida for our class. It is great to represent my school and win this championship. It was a great experience. We all grew a lot closer during this tournament. I am so grateful that we had the chance to go and compete with other high schools there,” MaryAnn revealed.

This is the first year that ODA is number one in both singles and doubles tennis. Caroline Daily ’13 won states singles for ODA in 2009, 2010, and 2011. MaryAnn and Maria will go down in ODA history for their accomplishment. Congratulations MaryAnn and Maria! Go Thunder!