• Bright future for Parnell, Broncos

  • Lee’s Summit North sophomore tennis standout Camryn Parnell finished the season with no shortage of individual accolades.

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  • Lee’s Summit North sophomore tennis standout Camryn Parnell finished the season with no shortage of individual accolades.
    But the thing is, the majority of Parnell’s accomplishments are attributable to the overall strength of the Broncos’ program. Parnell produced a stellar singles season, posting a 19-4 record, but she really made her mark on the doubles circuit where she teamed with freshman Logan Morrissey to go 26-6 and earn all-state honors after a sixth-place finish. That duo keyed the Broncos’ first appearance in the final four, where they finished third.
    So even though it is Parnell who was named The Examiner’s female Tennis Player of the Year, the individual award is in a lot of ways a credit to the overall strength of the North program.
    “I think Camryn would be the first one to tell you that practice is a lot of fun because we have players that are challenging and making you work and push hard every day,” North coach Stu Reece said. “If we had a player of Camryn’s ability and nobody else dedicated to tennis, they wouldn’t be able to push each other to achieve what they’ve all been able to achieve.”
    While tennis is by and large an individual sport, no one’s done more to embrace the team side of the game than Parnell. She earned the Bronco team award, which is given to the player who essentially shows the most interest in her teammates’ accomplishments.
    “It was really great to have our team be so close,” Parnell said. “Because being so close made us so much better. To have people on the same level as you really helps to improve your personal game as well.”
    That collective support was critical in the Broncos’ stiffest challenge of the season. On Oct. 13, North battled Notre Dame de Sion in a back-and-forth Class 2 sectional match that lasted 10 hours. Despite losing to Sion in the regular season, the Broncos found a way to extend their postseason march with a dramatic 5-4 decision.
    “Even though it lasted so long, I think having our teammates on the side and cheering for us throughout all our matches, I think that really helped us get through it,” Parnell said.
    Reece also said Parnell’s chemistry with Morrissey simplified his job. He says he’ll typically shuffle his doubles pairings throughout the season to avoid any bickering that results from teaming with someone for too long. That was never a concern for this combo, though.
    “They had different personalities and even different styles of tennis games,” Reece said. “But if they had any drama between the two of them, they kept it hidden pretty well. They seemed like they both enjoyed playing doubles together and they’re both very high-quality doubles players.”
    Page 2 of 2 - While the Broncos completed the best season in school history, it looks like they might be just getting started. Reece said he noticed Parnell and Morrissey were one of the only doubles teams with two underclassmen to earn all-state status. And with sophomore Jenny Krause, who went 20-1 in singles during the regular seasonand reached the state singles tournament, also returning, the future appears very bright for North tennis.
    “We definitely want to try and keep going and do even better next year,” Parnell said. “Everyone’s working on it. I see everybody on our team working on it all week. I go to Hilltop (Racquet Club) and I see them up there all the time – even the people that aren’t on varsity. Everyone’s trying to work to get there.”

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