After nearly two years away from competitive tennis, Cody High School grad Tessa Blough is ready to hit the court again.
She recently signed with Concordia University in Nebraska, receiving a scholarship to play the sport she excelled at through four years at CHS.
“I decided in September,” she said. “I wanted to go look at (the campus) and I fell in love with it. It’s a Lutheran-based school and I can play tennis there.”
She also applied to the University of Wyoming, but knew she wouldn’t make the team there. She wanted to play more competitive tennis.
Blough, a 2019 grad, was All-State all four years, finishing state runner-up her freshman year in No. 1 doubles, third in No. 1 singles her sophomore year, fifth in No. 1 singles her junior year and fourth in No. 1 singles her senior year.
She did all this – she was also a starter for Filly basketball – while battling lupus and juvenile arthritis.
In 2019 she was honored in Casper by the United States Tennis Association with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
She said she took a year off to get healthy and had planned to attend college this year until COVID-19 derailed those plans.
“She just decided, why attempt to go with everything being so difficult?” mother Cindy Blough said. “She kept playing, she would play in the summer tournaments, play with whoever would play with her.
“I’m excited for her.”
Tessa said she’s planning on getting more serious with her court time again this year to prepare for a fall start in Nebraska.
Besides tennis, she plans on studying physical education to one day become an elementary school P.E. teacher – and maybe a coach as well.
Concordia is an NAIA school in the Great Plains Athletic Conference and has been successful recently under coach David Desimone. He guided the women’s program to a 15-6 record in 2019 and a GPAC Championship, being named GPAC Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year. The Bulldogs had a 6-3 record last year before COVID-19 canceled the remainder of the season.
Tessa said Desimone offered her the chance to play singles and doubles, but she said she’d probably focus on doubles to avoid getting overworked and not jeopardize her health.
Her high school coach Norm Sedig saw the school and timing of her departure as a good fit.
“I think she’s healthier than she was when she was a senior,” he said. “It’s a good combination, a good level for her to be at for success.”
Tessa is healthy and eager to join the Bulldogs.
“During two years off, I missed the sport, being competitive,” she said. “It’s exciting.”