Once again playing in the top singles spot for the Lady Wolverines in 2014, Wood could only do one thing for an encore — earn the recognition again.
While it wasn’t easy to improve upon her record, Wood made it through the season with just one loss. She helped Woodstock earn one of the four state playoff berths out of Region 5AAAAAA, and while the Lady Wolverines did not make it out of the first round of the playoffs, Wood earned the only point for her team in a 3-1 loss to Mill Creek.
Wood also defeated every county opponent she faced and finished her high school career by being named the 2014 Cherokee Tribune Girls Tennis Player of the Year.
Wood said what makes her most proud is that she only lost once — to Roswell’s Laura Patterson, a five-star recruit signed with Georgia.
“I only lost once, and it was to a really, really good player,” Wood said. “I grew up playing her, and I lost 11-9 in a tiebreaker. My season was awesome when it came to wins and losses.”
Wood said the toughest matches to play were actually the ones she was expected to win.
“You put this pressure on yourself because you know we are supposed to beat them,” she said. “I definitely felt more pressure for those. I don’t get as nervous for matches that are supposed to be competitive.”
While Wood met the goals she set for herself, she hoped for more as a team.
“I thought that we should have gone further (in the playoffs),” she said. “I thought that it would be no problem for us to get past the (second round) this year and, unfortunately, that didn’t happen. We came out a little rusty in our playoff match, but we did well.”
Wood has accepted a scholarship to play at Samford, choosing that Birmingham, Ala., college over Central Florida, Coastal Carolina, Stetson and the College of Charleston.
Wood is excited about future and the new challenge of playing at the college level.
“I’m looking to go in and play (line) 4 or 5,” she said. “You never know, I could go in playing 6 or playing higher. I’m working really hard on my fitness and on my game, just trying to improve. I’m ready to go.”
Wood began playing tennis when she was 11 and shortly after made earning a college scholarship her goal.
“When it finally happens, there is so much pressure off of you,” Wood said. “You are relieved, and all your anxiety is gone. It’s this great feeling to know that you are going to play some place, and your education is paid for. There is no cost, and while everyone else is stressing and talking about money for college, you realize how blessed you are to have the talent to be able to get a scholarship.”
Wood plans to hone her skills in June before playing in some Intercollegiate Tennis Association tournaments in July with other college-bound players.
“I’ll being doing those and, hopefully, make it into the final rounds of some of those,” Wood said.