Southwest Wake Athletic Conference preview: girls tennis

08/05/2014 12:00 AM

08/04/2014 1:59 PM

Panther Creek has a lot to look forward to this girls tennis season.

The Catamounts (21-1) won the school’s first N.C. High School Athletic Association state championship last fall, knocking off the state’s top program (Broughton) along the way.

Panther Creek loses its No. 1 singles player but is still in great position.

Back-to-back 4A doubles champions Sammi Smith and Jordan Strickland return. Smith and Jordan, both juniors, had 14-1 and 16-2 records in singles. Their loss in the conference championship last year was their first as doubles partners.

Smith has overtaken 4A singles champ Susanne Boyden of Wakefield as No. 1 in the state on the junior circuit.

Also returning are last year’s Nos. 4-6 singles players; junior Orla LaBiche, sophomore No. 5 Aishani Tingare and No. 6 junior Loren Kim.

Green Hope (16-5) reached the 4A semifinals before losing to Panther Creek. The Falcons lose their No. 4 and No. 6 singles players as well as their coach from a year ago.

New coach Pam Gilbert takes over a Falcons program that includes junior Karena Zhang, the team’s No. 1 in singles followed by senior Jurasia Horvat, junior Sara Ackerson and junior Ellie Ackerson among returners.

Cary (10-6) was third in the SWAC last year but loses its top three – including the SWAC doubles champions who are now playing in college.

Apex (9-5) was close behind and should be improved with the return of regional qualifying doubles team Carla Thomas, a senior, and sophomore Elizabeth Johnson.

Middle Creek (6-8) returns regional qualifier Shaye McAuliffe, a senior, as well as No. 2 singles player Alex Phillips. Freshman Jenna Stachowiak is the younger sister of the school’s 4A state champion Nick.

Athens Drive (3-11) had no seniors last year. Fuquay-Varina (2-12), which won its match since the 2011 season last year, was similarly young.

Holly Springs (1-14), whose only win came against Fuquay, will be led by senior Kimberly Lavacca.

Sports Videos

Join the Discussion

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service