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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Ardmore's Morales signs with OBU tennis

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  • On the heels of Ardmore's most successful tennis season in quite some time, there was one more article of business to attend to.
    Alex Morales had to cap off the Tigers' superb season. The senior signed her letter of intent Monday to play for Oklahoma Baptist University, adding a final distinction to a year that included another medal finish at the state tournament, an academic state championship in Class 5A and All-State honors.
    And to think, when she started high school, Morales thought she'd wind up a collegiate basketball player.
    "It wasn't until last year when I started to think about wanting to play in college," Morales said of her tennis aspirations.
    Good thing for OBU. Morales brings a resume to Shawnee that is one of the best in the state. Morales was a four-time state placer in 5A, bringing home a fourth-place medal in double as a junior, and sixth-place as a senior in No. 1 singles.
    Helping Ardmore to a fifth-place team finish earned her an All-State distinction she never expected.
    "That was huge," Morales said of making All-State. "My mom, she juked me out because she told me I had no chance, and I ended up getting it anyway."
    Morales is one of three collegiate signees from the Tigers' 2013 tennis class, joining Sadie and Savannah Pfau, who signed with Southwestern College (Kan.) Morales said she chose OBU for its Christian based education.
    Ardmore coach Becky Dickinson said that Morales' determination set her up for a big year in an extremely strong field of No. 1 singles girls in 5A.
    "One of Alex's strengths is her mental game," Dickinson said. "She is calm under pressure and has a fierce competitiveness.
    "The competition was stout, no doubt. To be playing that position at that high level ... she came through like she always does."
    Morales and the Tigers even came through in the classroom, winning the 5A academic state championship with a team grade point average of 3.9. Ardmore may not have won the title on the court, but Morales leaves high school with a list of accomplishments most Oklahoma tennis players would envy.
    And a scholarship. Not bad for someone who initially had hoop dreams.
    "I did better than I thought I would," Morales said of her final season. "I worked hard all year, and I'm proud of what I got."
    Follow Horne on Twitter: @ekhorneARD
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