Nixa’s Arabella Cosgrove and Abigail Fulnecky couldn’t have asked for a much better post-season.
They helped the Lady Eagles capture the Class 3 District 5 championship last week and as doubles partners qualified for the Class 3 State Tournament, to be held next week at the Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield.
“When we first started playing together in doubles, we were saying we wanted to go to State,” Cosgrove said. “We were dreaming about it. We kind of didn’t know if it would happen because everybody is really good. But we made it and achieved our dream.”
Cosgrove and Fulnecky sport a 22-6 record. They were runners-up in Class 3 District 6.
This is their last go-around together. Cosgrove is a senior and Fulnecky a junior.
"They’ve had a great season,” coach Brock Blansit said. “They’re played as doubles partners for a couple years and play with each other in the summer as well. They know what each other is going to do.”
Doubles play fits the personalities of Cosgove and Fulnecky.
“We both love playing together,” Cosgrove said. “When you get down on yourself, you have another person there encouraging you. We are very positive. If one of us messes up, we’re not like, ‘Oh, you should have done something different.’ We say, ‘That’s okay, next point.’ We’re very forward thinking and that’s really helped us.”
Many players face a season-long dilemma while looking ahead to the post-season and trying to decide whether to play singles or doubles. For Cosgrove and Fulnecky, it was an easy decision.
“It was a no-brainer to play doubles,” Cosgrove said. “We don’t even like singles anymore because we prefer playing with each other so much more.”
Cosgrove is well aware private schools from the metro St. Louis and Kansas City areas traditionally dominate at State. She is eager to see the elite talent on hand.
“You’re getting the best people in the state, so it's going to be fun to be there and see what it’s like,” Cosgrove said. “It’s going to be cool to see what their level is. It’s going to be tough, but we’ll have fun.”