January 27, 2021

Makayla Red takes next step in Panther career

Article written by Trevor Wenners, Assistant Director of Sports Information at Lagrange College

(Lagrange, GA) — Makayla Red loves the art of competing.

The second-year player on the LaGrange College women’s tennis team has a friendly personality, but when it comes to being in between the lines, she has an intense competitive spirit.

Makayla Red (Photo: Lagrange Panther Sports)

Red is off to a fast start during the 2019-20 season, with a 3-1 record in singles’ action and one win in doubles.

Her four victories between singles and doubles are the most on the team.

Against Transylvania on Feb. 16, the Franklin, GA native worked effectively with freshman Hannah Miller to claim an 8-5 triumph at No. 3 doubles.

During No. 6 singles, Red cruised to a 6-1 win in the first set, and then gutted out a 7-5 triumph in the second for a straight-set victory.

“I would describe my style of playing as conservative, but also competitive,” said Red, who is academically a junior.

“In match play, I am often very conservative when it comes to hitting the ball and the decisions I make on the court. Mentally, I am very competitive because I do not like to lose. This is a great strength on the court because I strive for a win during every match and each time I step onto the court.”

Red showcased a great deal of resiliency during the No. 6 singles’ slot against Roanoke on Feb. 14. She won the first set, 7-5, and then dropped the second, 6-4. During the third-set tiebreaker, Red excelled in the clutch, claiming an 11-9 win.

During the Panthers’ season-opening match against Albany State on Sept. 27, Red fell short in the first set, 6-7 (3-7). Red fired back with a 6-0 sweep in the second set, and then won the third-set tiebreaker, 10-6, earning the win at No. 5 singles.

Red went 6-7 in singles’ action during the 2018-19 season, as the Panthers went 7-9 overall and 4-4 in the USA South. She took some time out of her busy schedule to speak about goals for this season and the personality traits of her teammates.

Q: What are your individual and team goals in 2020?

A: The goals I have for myself this season are to continue to improve mentally and physically each day on the court. This will allow me to be more confident and competitive in match play. As a team, our goal is to continue to come together as a close group, perform better in each match and have a strong run in the conference tournament at the end of the season.

Q: How have you improved this season as a tennis player?

A: I am more comfortable with playing in the collegiate atmosphere this season compared to last. My confidence level was much higher coming into this season and knowing what my goals were has really made an impact on my performance so far.

Q: Could you talk about the chemistry of the team?

A: It can be tough playing with only six, but it has made us a tighter group because we know how crucial everyone is to the team’s success. With only six, it has allowed us to get to know one another much better and build deeper relationships in order to encourage and support one another.

Q: Could you talk about the cohesiveness that you have developed with your doubles’ partner in Hannah Miller?

A: The relationship between Hannah and me has played a big role in our performance on the court. She has a competitive personality, much like my own, and this allows us both to encourage one another while playing. On the court, our playing styles are different, but they both work well together. The connections that we have with one another seem to just fit and this has allowed us to be a great duo on the court.

Q: Which groups are you involved in on campus and what does it mean to you to be a Panther?

A: I am a member of Kappa Delta Pi, which is an International Honor Society for educators. Being a Panther has allowed me to build new relationships and continue to grow as an individual in the classroom and on the court. It has opened so many opportunities for me that I never thought were possible. I would describe LaGrange as a community and family-oriented atmosphere that holds its students to high standards in order to produce leaders for the future.

Q: What made you decide to enroll in LaGrange College?

A: I grew up in Franklin, which is about 25 miles from LaGrange. My high school was very small, so I believed that a small, community-like school was the best fit for me. Staying close to home was also a huge priority in where I chose to continue my education. Once I realized that I had the opportunity to come to a small school, which was close to home, to continue my education and athletic career, I knew my decision was made.

Q: What are you studying at LaGrange and what are your career aspirations?

A: My major is early-childhood education. My career goal is to teach in the Heard County School system that I grew up in because it had a great impact on the career path that I have chosen. I would also like to be a part of helping the tennis program at Heard County High School that led me to where I am today athletically.

(Editor’s Note: Due to the Coronavirus, tennis and all other Panther spring sports have been cancelled for the remainder of the season.)

To read more about Lagrange College Athletics, visit lagrangepanthers.com

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