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Chesterton senior is returning disease’s serve

Chesterton senior is returning disease’s serve

Peyton Martinson, The Times

Chesterton senior Peyton Martinson lives with ulcerative colitis. She's playing out her senior year after eight months away from the game.

CHESTERTON — Peyton Martinson plans to study engineering in college. The Chesterton senior wants to be a roller coaster designer.

It’s a fitting career goal for a tennis player who’s already seen plenty of ups and downs.

Martinson lives with ulcerative colitis. She was diagnosed during her freshman year but it got really bad late in the 2019 season. She missed the sectional and the last couple weeks of school.

The disease has a laundry list of symptoms: stomach pain, nausea, frequent trips to the bathroom, bad fevers. Martinson dealt with all of it. She lost a lot of weight and was physically weak.

Martinson plays golf, as well, and missed most of that season. She didn’t pick up a tennis racket for about eight months. Gradually, things were under control with medication.

In January, she started to feel herself again.

“It’s much, much better. Thank you, God. It’s been a long haul but I’m finally doing good,” Martinson said. “I’m getting stronger. My endurance is up and I’m just able to be out here. My mindset is just to keep going, keep getting better, keep pushing. I can only do what I can do. The time I lost is the time I lost but I keep working at it and I keep getting better. It’s all good.”

Martinson may have missed all of her junior year of tennis, even if it hadn’t been canceled by COVID-19. She would’ve been the returning No. 1 singles player for the Trojans.

Coach Tom Bour said she has all the shots and effort has never been a question. Bour privately coached Martinson before she was in high school.

“She’s such a hard worker, one of the captains. Every girl on our team respects her,” Bour said. “She’s just an overall great person.”

Bour noticed Martinson was quiet and wasn’t playing like herself toward the end of her sophomore campaign. He believes she’s most of the way back.

Still, Martinson may not be Chesterton’s No. 1 this year. Juniors Milena Veltri and Leah Rochford will be in the mix, as well. Bour said Martinson also has the best volley and one of the best serves on the team, so she’s a natural fit for doubles. Matchups will likely determine her spot in the lineup for any given match.

No matter where she plays, Martinson won’t take any day for granted.

“I really just want to have fun this year and be with the team. Hopefully, we win, obviously, but I’m really just looking forward to having fun this year and enjoying being a senior playing tennis,” Martinson said. “We just need to know that we’ve left it all on the court. Win or lose, if you’ve tried your best that’s all you can do. If you’re putting in the work every day, you have to be proud of yourself no matter what.”

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