By Liz Mannis
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
Breaunna Addison, the first-semester freshman out of Boca Raton, Fla., has just stepped onto the University of Texas’s campus, but she has already achieved an elite level of success in her first semester of collegiate tennis.
The Big 12 Freshman of the Year boasts a 21-6 (.778) record in dual-match singles this season, having collected six wins over ITA top-100 opponents, earning her the Big 12 title for the No. 2 singles spot. Additionally, after going 3-0 at the conference tournament and helping Texas win its second consecutive title, the conference named Addison the tournament’s “Most Outstanding Player.”
Oh, and as if she hadn’t already garnered enough recognition for the season, the conference also selected Addison to both the All-Big 12 singles and doubles teams.
“Honestly I didn’t really know what [those accolades] meant, so my teammates kind of had to explain it all to me. But then I was excited - it was really awesome. It’s really a blessing. I’m so thankful for this opportunity,” said Addison.
For Addison, who grew up in Florida and spent the last six years homeschooled, moving 1,300 miles across the country was obviously a bit daunting.
“I was a little nervous to leave home. That was a huge step for me,” explained the freshman. “But Texas obviously has a great athletics program, and I love the coaches and the girls on the team here. I was just looking for the best program and the best fit for me.”
Head coach Patty Fendick-McCain has been pleasantly surprised with Addison’s seamless transition from a homeschooled adolescent to an already dominant collegiate tennis player.
“Usually it’s a little bit more of a difficult transition,” explained Fendick-McCain. “But Breaunna has had a great season. She showed up in January, acclimated quickly to Texas, and has just been on a tear since.”
Addison cites the backing of her teammates, coaches, and supporting staff for her quick and easy transition.
“They’ve been with me every step of the way and helping me with every aspect – whether it’s on the court or off the court. They’re making sure I have everything I need to make it the best possible first semester,” said Addison.
Addison has been nothing short of stellar this season, finishing conference play 8-1 overall (5-0 at No. 2), including an impressive straight-set win over Kansas State’s 12th-ranked Petra Niedermayerova.
The freshman also contributed to the Longhorns’ doubles success this season with partner sophomore Noel Scott. The duo was ranked as high as No. 12 in the country, and notched wins over four ITA top-15 doubles teams.
“I definitely did not expect to do as well this season as I have,” Addison said. “I just wanted to take every match one at a time. Just take it one day at a time. To have this much success is really a blessing.”
The freshman’s approach to her inaugural collegiate season left her undefeated in matches the team won, and her early emergence as a key member of this tennis cohort bodes well for upcoming years.
"Breaunna is a tremendous athlete who can really cover the court. She is tough and talented, and she has a very good all-court game,” said Fendick-McCain. “I’m just super proud of her. She’s got a great attitude and is already a team leader.”
Addison’s team-first mentality is a key part of why she is considered a leader on the team, just four months after stepping foot on campus.
“The best part of college tennis is just celebrating everybody’s success. It’s not just about me. I feel great when I win, but sometimes I feel even better when a teammate gets a great win or they really fight hard and I see that their hard work is really paying off,” said Addison.
To cap off an already exceptional rookie season, the freshman received bids to compete in both singles and doubles play at the NCAA Championships later this month at The University of Illinois.
“I’m feeling pretty confident. We’ve been playing very well and working really hard,” said Addison. “At the end of the day the only thing you can do is put your best out there. I think we’re definitely going to be able accomplish that.”