Athlete of the Week: Rose Bennett

(Editor’s note: Throughout the local high school sports season, Culpeper Times will again recognize an “Athlete of the Week” from one of the sports on a rotating basis. This week we feature girls tennis. At the end of the year the Times will select a male and female athlete at both Culpeper County and Eastern View high schools and recognize them as “Athlete of the Year” at their respective schools.)

Whenever a tennis challenge arises, Rose Bennett rises to the occasion.
Bennett, a senior on the Eastern View High School girls team is Culpeper Times’ choice for “Athlete of the Week” in girls tennis.
“She’s like my right-hand man,” said Katie Hogan, girls tennis coach at EVHS. “During the off season she worked a lot to tweak the little things she needed to get better at to reach the next level.

“She’s a leader, a role-model, a co-captain and a student of the game of tennis. More than anybody I know, she really knows her stuff. She’s great now, but she is always finding ways to improve her game even more.”
Bennett said she has several family members who play tennis, but she didn’t really start in earnest until eighth grade.
“I like the individual aspect of tennis,” she said. “You are part of a team, but you are not relying on someone else. If you win it’s all you and if you lose you have no one to blame but yourself. It’s just you against me.”

The hard work has paid off for Bennett as she has been offered a full-ride tennis scholarship to the University of Virginia at Wise, a benefit worth nearly $40,000, she said.
“I have been contacted by some other schools and any school I went to I would play tennis,” she said. “Still, it would be hard to pass up that kind of scholarship.”

Bennett said she enjoys her AP Government and AP English classes the most this year.
As she gets ready to graduate and step up to the college tennis ranks, Bennett is focusing solely on tennis.
“I was on varsity cheer leading for three years, but I decided after last year to work on my tennis and not cheer lead this year,” she said. “It paid off because now I have the opportunity to go to college and graduate debt-free.”

When she’s not working out at Eastern View, Bennett takes to the court at Culpeper Sport and Racquet Club. She said she was often there during the summer from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.
“I train with a lot of great guys out there,” she said. “And all my closest friends are on the tennis team at Eastern View so I love that. This is the best time of the year for me. I look forward to playing a sport I love and spending time with my friends.”

NOTE: Culpeper County High School tennis coach Katie Shaw nominated senior Kursten Anderson.
“She’s been playing varsity for three years,” said Shaw. “She moved from fifth singles to second singles to first singles this year. She is also on the first doubles team with Kristen Ramey.”

As a sophomore Anderson teamed with exchange student Carol Viera to take second place in Battlefield District doubles.
“I wish she had started to play the game five or 10 years ago,” said Shaw. “She has improved by leaps and bounds every year. It’s fun to watch. In my five years here she is the most dedicated player I have had. Last year she wanted to be No. 1 but she kept losing to Kristen in playoffs. This year she took it.”

Anderson is perhaps better known for her prowess as a volleyball player where she was a Culpeper Times “Athlete of the Week” earlier this year.
“I first went out for tennis because I wanted a new sport to play besides volleyball,” said Anderson. “I thought I would try something new and what do you know, I turned out to be pretty decent at it.” Anderson laughed at the thought.
“Tennis is more an individual sport where volleyball is a team sport,” she said. “I like the challenge. This is a very mental game. In tennis I really work at using my shots to open up the court and then when I see an opening I go in for the kill.”

Anderson has been accepted at Coastal Carolina College and plans to begin working toward a degree in marine biology this fall.
“My best subjects are AP Biology and AP Calculus,” she said. “Kind of shocking, I know, but I like a challenge.”
In her limited free time Anderson said she likes to do volunteer work for the animal shelter and as a counselor at summer camps.