-Tennis team looking to reach full strength with end of Winter sports
The LCHS varsity tennis team is looking forward to getting to full strength for the first time during the 2019 season when several players join the team this week after concluding their Winter sports seasons.
“With the rain, and with basketball ending recently, we still do not have a complete boys team,” said LCHS head tennis coach Alan Hogan. “Hopefully we can start playing again soon. I am certain that when these players return, we will have a much stronger lineup.”
The Indians should improve by leaps and bounds when they have Laken Ferrell, Tyler Schott, Kyle Trammell and Jacob Cumbie take the court for the first time this season after finishing their respective Winter sports.
The Lady Indians will receive a big boost to their lineup when Ashlynn Wistoski joins the team after completing the 2018-19 season for the Lady Indians basketball team.
Not having several of its best players from last season at the start of the 2019 season has been difficult for the Indians, who have struggled to put together a competitive lineup against the tough competition on its schedule so far this season.
But, the absence of these players has allowed some of the younger members of the team to gain valuable experience at the varsity level.
“Younger players have stepped up and have gained much valuable match experience,” Hogan said. “I have been quite pleased with the effort and with the improvement that all of the boys have made.”
The Lady Indians, who have been fortunate enough to have the majority of its lineup since the start of the season, bounced back from a close 3-2 loss against a strong Stephens County team to defeat North Forsyth 4-1 recently.
“Two of the matches versus Stephens County went into tie-breaks to determine the winner,” Hogan said. “After feeling the sting of a close loss to them, we rebounded to a 4-1 win over North Forsyth. I trust that this victory will return us to the level that we should be playing.”
Senior Izzy Kinard earned a straight set 6-2, 6-1 victory in the girls number one singles match, Lindsey Rushton earned a straight set 6-4, 6-3 win in the number three singles match and the doubles teams of Lauren Welch and Julie Averett and Wistoski and Brooke Waters each won in straight sets 6-0, 6-2.
“There is much to be positive about, even at this early stage of the season,” Hogan said. “We continue to have focused practices, with many signs of improvement. The players have a good attitude and we will be happy to return to our schedule soon. We will focus on improvement and playing the best that we can.”
While the varsity team is excited about getting to full strength and continuing to improve, the JV girls team is excited about the early success it has enjoyed so far this season.
“This is a development that I am so thrilled about,” Hogan said. “Our JV girls are 4-1 at this point, with very impressive wins over Dawson County, North Hall, Gainesville and Flowery Branch. Our only loss was to Central Forsyth, in a close 2-3 match. These girls are very dedicated and have worked with Coach Kent Norsworthy at UNG and his assistants during the off season and they play tennis throughout the year. At practice, all of our players participate in the same drills. Consequently, these younger players are hitting against the older varsity players and it is evident that they are improving and gaining more confidence in their games. We have an active JV schedule, so the younger players will get much playing time this season.”
The recent rainy weather cancelled the LCHS tennis team’s matches versus White County and Chestatee during LCHS’s Winter Break.
At press time, the LCHS tennis team was set to travel to Flowery Branch on Tuesday, Feb. 26, for a non-conference match. No official results were available.
The Indians and Lady Indians will be back in action when they host Denmark High School at the LCHS Tennis Complex on Thursday, Feb. 28. Matches start at 4 p.m.