Would you believe Anna’s love for tennis had humble beginnings? Kind of like her love for musicals began in our living room dressed up like a cat and dancing to the musical CATS? Tennis began on the only cement we had on our acreage…the double car garage driveway! My husband and Anna hit the ball back and forth on the 24x30’ cement pad. No worries for my un-athletic husband who had never played tennis before, we had four dogs to help him out with missed balls. However, one dog, Tar Tar, made the game challenging by trying to steal them!
Earlier this summer, Anna competed in the IGHSAU state team tennis tournament for Sprit Lake-Okoboji. One week later, she competed at the Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards at the Des Moines Civic Center, where she won the Triple Threat Award for an Actress in a Principal Role. She then represented Iowa at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City, which is known as the Jimmy Awards. Anna worked with Broadway professionals for nine days and then performed at the Minskoff Theatre in New York City, which is where Disney's The Lion King is performed on Broadway!
In addition to athletics and theatre, Anna is also involved in band and continually gives back to her fellow students and community through acts of service. Like most students these days, her schedule is incredibly challenging, but we are so proud of her work ethic and drive!
-submitted by Anna's mother, Brenda Ascheman
As a freshman Anna caught my eye right away. I knew she had something but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then it hit me… it was her fearlessness. She hit the ball as hard as she could and didn’t worry when she missed. Anna was a rare player who seemed to understand that what she had spent her childhood doing would serve her well in high school tennis.
Anna’s unique hard-hitting tennis game has been a joy to coach. It’s all the more fun to watch because it’s hard to believe that a girl with such a small frame can create so much power on her shots. During her three years on varsity she has amassed a 23-3 singles record and a 28-3 doubles record. She’s earned all-conference honors twice. At this year’s conference tournament Anna’s fearlessness served her well. She was thrown into #1 doubles at the last minute due to a teammate’s illness. She excelled that day winning the Lakes Conference #1 doubles division with teammate Cassie Barba. I wonder if it’s this fearlessness that works in her favor when she’s on stage dancing.
-submitted by Anna's tennis coach, Bob O'Hara
The IGHSAU is committed to sharing the stories of high school female athletes. We believe a strong narrative can empower and inspire other females to try more, go the distance, and persevere in the face of hardship. That's why we want you -- parent, friend, athlete, coach -- to share the story of an Iowa Girl that inspires you. What makes their story special? What have they overcome or accomplished? Is there something beyond the sport that makes their story especially unique? We want to know.
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