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GIRLS TENNIS: Female Athlete of the Week: Rachel Martin is on fire for James Buchanan

Rachel Martin didn't have high expectations entering the 2015 girls tennis season.

And after the first two weeks, her expectations were even lower.

"Coming into this year, I didn't even know if I would win a game," Martin said. "Then I lost my first three matches of the season, so I was pretty down about that."

But since starting the season 1-4, Martin has not lost a match for James Buchanan at No. 1 singles. She is on a seven-match win streak and is the Public Opinion Female Athlete of the Week.

"I told her early on that she was going to have bumps and bruises along the way," Rocket coach Terri Beegle said. "I told her, 'You're not going to win a lot,' and she just looked at me and smiled. She knew she had nothing to lose, and she has surpassed everything I expected from her at the beginning of the season."

Since her difficult first two weeks, Martin has posted wins against No. 1 singles players from Bishop McDevitt, Trinity and Camp Hill, the top three teams in the Mid Penn Colonial Division. This week, she had wins versus Biglerville, Middletown and the Crusaders.

One of her top qualities is simply her competitive nature and ability to wear opponents down.

"She has the stamina and the desire to win," Beegle said. "She truly believes she can get to every shot, and she keeps it in play. Other teams call her The Wall, because she gets to everything. Even if she thinks she can't get it ... well, she never thinks that."

Martin also had the added pressure of going from doubles to singles this year, and made the transition flawlessly.

"First of all, with singles, it's all on you; you don't have a partner," Martin said. "Also, now you gotta cover the whole court, up and back. You have to have good footwork."

Now that she has surpassed expectations, Martin is looking forward to the postseason.

"I know I have the potential," she said. "I would like to be in at least the top three in our conference. I've beaten the top three girls in our league, so I'm excited for Mid Penns to see what I can do."


Sport: Girls tennis

Position: No. 1 singles

Grade: Junior

Parents: James and Kelli Martin

Other interests: Rachel also plays basketball for the Rockets and enjoys spending time with her friends.

Surprising fact: She is home-schooled.

Favorite team: Philadelphia Eagles

Pro athlete most admired: LeBron James

Statistics: Martin was 3-0 this week, including a big win over Bishop McDevitt's No. 1 singles player ... Martin has won seven straight matches after starting the season 1-4.