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League Team Provides Comfort for Teammate

by Mario Cuadros
Many people say that tennis is just as mental as it is physical. The outcome of a match falls in your hands and no one else’s. You are facing an opponent that is trying to defeat you both physically and mentally.
When Simpsonville resident Allie Kenison steps on a tennis court, she is not only thinking about the opponent. She’s carrying around the memory of her late husband, Keven Kenison, who passed away after suffering a heart attack during a tennis match earlier this year.
Kenison began playing tennis in 2006 after her children returned to school. She was looking for a hobby that would keep her exercising and in shape. It was also an opportunity to spend time with some of her close friends.
"A bunch of my friends were looking for something to do so we all decided to get together and play tennis," she said.
She plays in a team that includes her sister-in-law, her brother and many close friends that she has known for a long time. Not only does the team enjoy being around each other when they are practicing and playing on the court, but their friendship extends to much more than that.
"We hang out together before and after we play," she said. "We do a lot of things together, not just on the court."
This friendly environment became especially important when Kenison lost her husband earlier this year. During this time, she felt that those around her were not merely her friends, but instead, they were more like a family.
"They have been the ones that make it possible for me to relax and get my mind away from things," she said. "They are like my family. I spend most of my time with them when I’m not at home and having them with me is comforting."
Some of Kenison’s greatest memories of her husband include him being on a tennis court. She remembers how he was obsessed with always trying to improve and never giving up when he played.
"He always gave it 110% when he was on the tennis court," she said. "When he wanted to do something he did it. When he started playing tennis he always wanted to get better at it and that’s what made him happy."
Kenison may not be playing alongside her husband anymore, but she will always remember the great experiences they shared on the court. That is something nobody can take away from her.
"We played mixed doubles together and went to state a couple of years ago," she said. "It was a lot of fun. We didn’t always play well together, but it was a lot of fun. He loved it."
As far as her continuing tennis career goes, Kenison will be competing in the Mixed Doubles League Championships in Florence and expects her team to be playing until the final day of the tournament.
"I think we’re going to do very well," she said. "We’ve put a lot of effort in practice. We have a great lineup and we’re going to go out and have a great time and just enjoy being together."