From the News Journal: The group took its share of lumps, but DeLand enjoyed its most successful season in a decade this spring. The Bulldogs qualified for the state tournament for the first time since 2009 and won the Five Star Conference for the first time in at least 15 years, according to head coach Kathy Barnard.
Allen led the way, posting a 14-3 record at No. 1 singles and a 10-4 record at No. 1 doubles with fellow junior Allison Teixeira. For her efforts, Allen is The News-Journal’s 2019 Girls Tennis Player of the Year.
“We definitely worked really hard during the season to get prepared for conference,” Allen said. “The proudest moment was when we had come off the court. Everyone was so excited. The two days we put in for that, it was a really cool moment.”
Allen defeated Flagler Palm Coast’s Tina Grundner — 6-2, 6-0 — in the No. 1 singles final. She defeated Seabreeze’s Abby Okarski by an identical score in the semifinal round.
Barnard said Allen proved her mettle as a freshman by winning challenge matches against her teammates. The 15-year coach at DeLand could see Allen’s raw potential right away and watched her improve by leaps and bounds this spring.
“Her game has developed each and every year,” Barnard said. “She’s gone so much deeper in her strategy and adjusts to all different sorts of styles you play as No. 1. She’s become more consistent and stronger in coming to the net. She wins a lot of points at the net in singles.”