Sue Chipman’s Shawnee Mission East High School girls tennis team doesn’t need much hype.
Entering their most recent season, the Lancers had won back-to-back state championships and returned several top finishers. Still, Chipman said she wasn’t totally sure of their prospects until senior Olivia Sneed decided to join the team.
“As soon as Olivia came along, we thought, ‘Aha, this is going to ensure it,’ ” Chipman said. “You never take anything for granted because you could have a kid with an accident or have somebody sick, but we were a lot more confident about where we were going to be with her.”
Sure enough, Sneed, who has attended Shawnee Mission East all four years but spent her previous seasons playing for KC United on the Plaza, led the Lancers to a third straight team championship. She finished with a perfect 24-0 record and a first-place finish in singles at the Kansas Class 6A state tournament in her only season of high school tennis.
For those achievements, Sneed is The Star’s All-Metro girls tennis player of the year.
Sneed is the top ranked recruit from Kansas and No. 31 in the nation, according to Tennis Recruiting Network, which has her listed as a five-star prospect. She has a 44-17 record in club play and is undecided on where she will attend college.
“She has all the shots, and there is not really anything missing in her game,” Chipman said. “She has a winning attitude. She’s got the ‘never say die’ kind of spirit that you want a kid to have, and she pretty much walked through all her matches this year.”