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The Clover High School girls tennis team is off to a roaring start for the 2012 season.
The Lady Blue Eagles were sporting a 4-0 record and sitting atop the Region 3-AAAA standings entering this week’s play.
Head coach Renee Farris said the players had answered the challenge in the early stages of the season.
“I have a great group of girls,” Farris said before this week’s competition. “They worked hard in the offseason.”
Farris said the Lady Blue Eagles also are successful off the court.
“Our girls do well in the classroom and participate in school activities,” she said. “In addition to the hard work, they are committed to the program. They are in good shape and have a good time.”
With recent High School League realignment placing seven York County teams in Region 3-AAAA, Farris said the region will be competitive all season.
“Our players know some of the players from the other teams, which really makes it competitive,” she said.
Senior mainstay Caroline Hester, who plays No. 3 singles, agrees that all the York County teams in the region make it exciting.
“It’s pretty neat,” Hester said. “We’re seeing some familiar faces in our region matches. A good many of the players know each other.”
Hester, a six-year varsity tennis participant who has competed at the high school level since seventh grade, feels this year’s team has lost of potential.
“I’m looking for our team to have a great year,” she said.
Hester said the Lady Blue Eagles are more than a team on the court.
“We are like family,” Hester said of the team’s mindset and camaraderie. “We get along on and off the court. We’re having fun.”
While Hester strives to improve each year, she said, she’s pleased with her game in the early stages of this season.
Asked what phase of the game she’s more comfortable with, Hester said, “When I’m playing with confidence and energy, I feel I can compete, whether it’s hitting baseline strokes, positioning myself at the net or serving the ball.”
While she said she’s of the team’s 4-0 start, Farris emphasized the need to maintain a high level of play.
“The key to success this week and beyond is continued hard work and to remain focused every match,” she said.
The CHS girls improved to 4-0 in the region with impressive wins against Fort Mill and South Pointe last week. The Lady Blue Eagles defeated Fort Mill 7-0, with dominant play up and down the lineup resulting in straight-set wins.
Kate Stewart, who plays No. 1 singles, defeated Reagon Paff 6-0, 6-3, while Harriet Hall, the No. 2 singles player, bested Rachel Brooks 6-2, 6-0.
Hester protected her No. 3 singles slot with a 6-0, 6-1 win against the Lady Yellow Jacket’s Ellie Prain.
No. 4 Elizabeth Edmunds shut out Prega Desai 6-0, 6-0, and No. 5 Corey Brom defeated Jessica Zahn 6-2, 6-1.
In No.1 doubles, Stewart and Hall blanked Paff and Brooks, with Anna Miszkiewicz and Merritt Miller besting Fort Mill’s Caroline Butler and Emily Denmeade 6-0, 6-0 in No. 2 doubles.
The Lady Blue Eagles defeated South Pointe 6-0, with Stewart, Hall, Hester and Edmunds winning in much the same manner and Brom winning by forfeit.
Miszkiewicz and Miller were dominant once again in No. 2 doubles, blanking their opponent 6-0, 6-0.
The Lady Blue Eagles continue region play Thursday, hosting Rock Hill at 5 p.m. on the CHS courts.
The next action will be Tuesday at Lancaster, the only non-York County team in the region. The match will begin at 5 p.m.
Note: Results of this week’s home match with Northwestern will appear in next week’s Enquirer-Herald.