Just being positive has carried Faith Grisham a long way on the tennis court.
Her opponents might not like her approach, but that’s OK. Grisham wants her opponents to be uncomfortable.
“It’s really discouraging to play someone who is always positive, so I kind of use that to intimidate my opponents, and really show them that I’m in it still,” the Columbia River junior said.
Grisham lost just two sets this season — 6-3, 6-1 in the 2A state semifinals to eventual four-time state champ Danya Wallis of North Kitsap — but finished strong to place third at state.
For this exceptional season, Grisham is The Columbian’s All-Region girls tennis player of the year.
Grisham says a major part of tennis is to stay positive while playing.
“It translates to your shots and you can really build off that positive energy,” she said. “I can get mad on the inside, but I mask it.
“It’s easy to let negative emotions build on themselves and then you get in a downward spiral and that’s hard to come back from.”
Though never having played Wallis before, Grisham said she welcomed the challenge against a player who was an overwhelming favorite to win a fourth straight state title.
“I was really excited to have the opportunity to play her and see how my game matched up against hers,” Grisham said.
By watching Wallis play, Grisham said she and her coach Kevin Erickson drew up some tactics going into the state semifinal.
“I thought it’d be fun to try and take her down … it didn’t work so well, but I tried,” Grisham said.