Raulston transitions from basketball to tennis

Published 8:24 am Friday, April 24, 2009

COURTLAND—Lindsay Raulston makes things look easy.

After scoring her 1,000th point in basketball this winter, she has transitioned into her favorite sport — tennis. The junior is performing well for Southampton Academy and continues to be ranked in the region by the United States Tennis Association.

Raulston is a power hitter and tactician. She can move the ball all over the court with compact but powerful strokes. Her serve is hard and usually well placed. Her demeanor on Wednesday was steady, despite being down 3-0 to her main rival from Steward School, Mary Taylor Tepper, who she also sees at USTA tournaments. Raulston came back and won 8-7 in a pro set.

“Tennis is my favorite sport. I used to be hardcore basketball, but I kind of got worn out of that,” Raulston said between her singles and doubles match. “I didn’t really like tennis when I was younger, but I really like it a lot now. It’s grown on me.”

In the USTA Middle Atlantic rankings, Raulston is ranked 24th in the under-16 standings and 33rd in the under-18 standings. Over the summer, she plays a USTA tournament almost every weekend and twice a month during the school year.

Raulston was tutored by former pro Russ Sholes at Cypress Cove Country Club. Ken Cussick, the current pro at the club, has been helping Raulston, particularly with her backhand.

“My backhand used to be terrible. I used to not be able to hit,” she said. It’s better than it used to be. Ken told me how to hit better and follow through better. It takes a lot of repetition. I practice with my mom, or Ken, or some other boys from other teams four days a week.”

Currently, Raulston is ranked number one in the junior class at SA. She has her sites set on majoring in pre-med in college and maybe playing tennis.

“I would like to play in college. It depends where I go. If I went to a smaller school, I would definitely like to play,” she said. “I went through the National Youth Leadership Forum on medical this past summer and got to do a lot of hands-on stuff. It was interesting.”

Raulston and her SA teammates will travel to the College of William & Mary next Thursday for the Virginia Commonwealth Conference tournament.