If your first time meeting Markeytha Chapman comes on a tennis court, you might have a skewed perception of the Evans High School senior.
That's because, while she's competing, Chapman changes from her usual sweet, soft-spoken self into, well, something else.
"I'm nice off the court, but on the court, I'm terrifying," she said with a smile.
That competitive persona has been developed through countless hours of work at Fleming Tennis Center in Augusta, where Chapman hits balls and trains at least four times per week with a group of players who make up the MACH Tennis Academy.
Chapman believes the daily grind of training, along with extensive play in tournaments, helps her stay in control during tight matches.
"You just become more confident and you get used to (the pressure)," she said. "You're not so nervous."
Chapman's play, along with that of her Evans teammates, helped this year's squad win its first Region 3-AAAA title in "a long time," said Chapman, unsure of exactly how long it has been since the team achieved the feat.
The Lady Knights kept the momentum going into the state playoffs, advancing all the way to the semifinals before falling, 3-0, to eventual state champion Marist on Saturday.
Before Saturday's state Final Four match, Chapman had not lost a single match in this year's region tournament or state tournament while playing No. 1 singles.
Providing that kind of security while withstanding the pressure of playing the other teams' top singles player is a nice commodity for head coach Sarah Harrington.
"When she goes out on the court, she's always focused. She keeps her composure throughout the matches," Harrington said. "She's just a tough player."
For Chapman, tennis has become somewhat of an obsession, something she lives to do. Because she's a senior, the next step would be playing collegiate tennis.
According to her school coach, she's got a few options to consider but has yet to make a decision.
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