Nice article on future Eph tennis player Ashley Parsons ’10.

Ashley Parsons’ name is written on the tennis lineup sheet and with it comes a cool feeling of confidence and trust for Head Coach Gail Overbeck and her New Canaan Rams. It’s a sense of security which has formed from watching, in the coach’s words, “the best singles player I’ve ever had.”

That’s high praise from someone who’s seen her fair share of great singles players during an 11-year coaching career at New Canaan High School. But in this case, it’s definitely deserved. For the past four years, Parsons has been an almost guaranteed victory for New Canaan, even as she has stared down some of the best opponents the FCIAC has to offer.

“She’s got a huge drive and a fabulous work ethic,” Overbeck said of her ace. “She’s very gracious, she doesn’t have a big ego and she works and works and wants to be the best. She’s toned her body, she’s got no body fat at all, and she’s in the weight room all the time. Her life right now is tennis and her passion right now is tennis.”

Deciding on Williams College was by no means easy for Parsons, who also had her eyes on Bowdoin College. Both schools have successful Division III tennis programs and are great academically.

“My two favorite schools were Williams and Bowdoin and it came down to the night before early decision,” Parsons said. “I talked with my parents about the ups and downs of both and I finally decided on Williams, but it was a very tough decision. I knew both places I would love, so it was hard to choose.”

Parsons will be jumping from one strong program to another. The Ephs were the 2002 NCAA champions, and were the runners-up in New England Div. III last fall.

This spring, they were 8-5 and finished second in the New England Small College Athletic Conference.

Williams has a young team, with four freshmen, four sophomores, and just two seniors on its spring roster of 11 players. It also has three strong freshmen coming in next year, including Parsons.

“It’ll be really tough getting a spot next year,” Parsons said. “I’m going to train a lot this summer and try and play in a lot of women’s opens. I’m going to go in as strong as I can be and hope for the best. Williams has some really strong players, but I’m hoping to get in the top of the lineup.”

Good luck to Parsons.

On a personal note, I can’t think about a tennis Eph like Parsons without thinking of two other Ephs. First is my lovely wife, traipsing down to the courts to play JV tennis, coached by Sean Sloane. She has barely picked up a racket since then, but she and her freshmen entrymate still giggle about that time, still marvel at Sloane’s patience and encouragement. Second is Lindsay Morehouse 00′, may she rest in peace.

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