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Phoebe Olson commits to Hartwick College for school, tennis

Phoebe Olson, a senior for the Jamestown High School tennis team, recently signed to continue her academic and athletic career at Hartwick College in New York.

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Jamestown's Phoebe Olson follows through on a return last year at Bolinger Courts.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
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While Phoebe Olson was in a fight for the fifth-place title in the 2021 Class A State Tennis Tournament, the wheels determining her tennis future were already in motion.

Olson, a senior at Jamestown High School, recently committed to continue her academic and tennis career at Hartwick College in Oneonata, New York.

The college recruitment process started last winter before tennis season began. Olson reached out to and was contacted by coaches across the country via email. Hartwick first reached out to the standout Blue Jay in the fall.

"I chose Hartwick because I really loved the atmosphere and the tennis coach and team were very welcoming and nice," Olson said. "I chose to move across the country because I feel like it will be a new beginning and it's always been something I've wanted to do.

"I think it will be a difficult transition but it's such a great opportunity I couldn't miss out on."

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Olson has been playing tennis since the age of 5. After missing out on her sophomore season due to COVID-19, the Blue Jay standout came back to the courts as a junior with full intentions of getting back to the state tournament.

She did herself proud last spring.

Olson became the fifth-ever Blue Jay to place at a Class A state tennis tournament. Olson finished fifth and was the Blue Jays' first singles state placer since Tania Thielman placed third at the 1984 tournament.

Tania Bjone and Megan Stark placed fourth for the Blue Jays in the 2009 state doubles tournament.

Olson defeated West Fargo Sheyenne's Alyssa Sommerfield 6-4, 6-1 in the opening round of the tournament but ended up falling in the quarterfinals 6-2, 6-1 to Paige McCormick of Fargo Davies, forcing a consolation match late on Friday to stay in the tournament.

The now Blue Jay senior pulled out a 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(4) win over Dickinson's Valeria Bradley -- an opponent Olson had faced a week prior at the West Region tournament.

Olson's 2-1 day on Friday landed her in the consolation semifinals on the final day of the tournament. Olson trailed in both sets early but managed to rally back and get the win over Mandan's Lizzie Allan 6-4, 6-4.

Marissa Burian of Fargo Davies battled it out with Olson for the fifth-place title. Burian served up a first set 7-6(8) win but Olson won the last two sets 6-4 and 6-3 to claim her title.

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"I think my success last season helped a lot with being recruited," Olson said. "I've always wanted to play college tennis and I'm just very grateful for my opportunity. Tennis has always been a big part of my life and I'm not ready for it to be over."

Olson said training to get ready for her college season will include weight lifting and resistance training three to five days a week along with private tennis lessons and practices most days a week. Olson said she knows the competition of her final prep season will be really good and will get her ready to compete at the next level.

"I do want to thank my coaches and everyone who has helped me get this far in tennis, specifically Evie Reynolds and Jason Thiner," Olson said.

While her plans for next year are all in place, Olson will likely be heading up the JHS squad for one more year. Olson assumed the No. 1 spot in singles and doubles last season. The Blue Jays missed out on the 2021 State Tournament as a team.

The 2022 JHS girls tennis season is slated to start on April 19 with a WDA conference dual against Mandan.

"I think when people come to watch the team play they can expect to see a really fun team who gets along great and all try their hardest on the court," Olson said of the 2022 Blue Jay squad. "I'm very grateful for Blue Jay tennis for all of the friends I've made and how it has prepared me for playing college tennis."

Katie Ringer is a sports reporter for the Jamestown Sun. Katie joined the Sun staff in the summer of 2019 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a degree in journalism. She can be reached by email at kringer@jamestownsun.com or by phone at 701-952-8460.
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