Hereford junior Victoria Betzen leads No. 1-ranked Hereford into the Class 4A playoffs against Andrews in the area round at 10 a.m. Thursday. [Roy Wheeler/ For Press Pass Sports]
The Hereford tennis team is having a year to remember as they get set to open the University Interscholastic League Class 4A playoffs against Andrews at 10 a.m. Thursday at Lubbock High in the area round.
The Whitefaces, led by coach seventh-year coach Cody Crouch, are ranked No. 1 in the state in 4A at 20-2 overall.
Hereford earned a bye in the bidistrict round thanks to winning its first district title in 20 plus years, going a perfect 6-0 through 3-4A.
Top singles player Victoria Betzen a key piece to the Whitefaces success becoming a leader on and off the court.
“She’s always been a great individual player,” Crouch said. “But she’s never been much of a doubles player. She never really bought into the team aspect until this year. Now she’s vocal about the team success rather than winning her match or that player winning their match.”
Betzen agreed with her coach’s comment.
“It’s been easy to buy into the team aspect,” Betzen said. “We are very talented. There have been years where it wasn’t but it’s been a fun ride so far.”
Since her time in junior high, Betzen has been a fierce competitor that makes the time in the summer and the offseason to become the best.
As a sophomore last May her hard work paid off, advancing to the UIL Class 4A state tennis tournament as an individual.
This year skilled Betzen has leads the team as the No. 1 singles player with a 19-3 mark and an 11-8 record in doubles action.
Hereford’s Victoria Betzen qualified to the UIL Class 4A state tennis tournament as a sophomore last May. [Roy Wheeler/ For Press Pass Sports]
Crouch says it’s her athleticism that sets her a part.
“She’s the fastest player I’ve ever coached,” Crouch said. “It’s incredible. She maybe the lone exception on our team that could make another varsity sport in Hereford. She’s that talented.
“What else is nice is when you go out and look at the lineup. You know you have to have 10 wins in a match, and you can count one win because you know Victoria is going to get it done.”
For Betzen, who is tops in her class academically, she’s just happy to see how far the program has come. Betzen thinks it’s been special to see what this team has built.
“It’s been great to see the success for our team,” Betzen said. “Our goal used to be just to make the playoffs, but now it’s how deep we can make it. It’s also nice to get the recognition in the community. In the spring we got some compliments, but we get recognition for our team now more than ever.”