A Bull on the tennis court, Parrish’s Odessa Eisch plays to win … quickly

PARRISH – Odessa Eisch’s YouTube tennis recruiting video is a smash. A huge hit.

And it doesn’t matter if the Parrish Community High School senior is rocketing 86-mph serves – her Bulls coach, Erin Lisch, calls them “insane” – forehands, backhands, or put-aways at the net.

If the balls Eisch regularly abuses could talk – “hey, take it easy on me!” – would be an apt response. But the 18-year-old, who lost her first match this season before ripping off 16 consecutive wins, takes it easy on no one.

Certainly not herself. Following a two-hour practice with her team di lei, “Dessi,” as she’s called, will work out for up to 90 minutes with her dad, John, her mom, and two younger sisters, both of whom hope to follow Dessi’s tennis path.

“That’s the difference there,” said Lisch, in her second season as the Bull girls’ tennis coach. “If you really want it, you got to go out and practice.”

When the 30-year-old Lisch, who played tennis at Palmetto High and arrived at Parrish from a career as a television reporter, got the job, she knew little of the players she would be leading.

In talking to Eisch, Lisch learned she had played softball for a year, at St. Petersburg Northside Christian, earning All-State recognition as a freshman catcher. Then, she decided to switch to “trying tennis.”

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