Girls’ varsity tennis is serving it up this season. With the majority of the team being underclassmen, the team is exceptionally young; however, this has not deterred the team’s persistence for glory. The GVT lineup begins with sophomore Gracie Hughes. Hughes is an exceptionally determined player who quickly hones in on her opponent’s weaknesses and her own strengths. She is a quiet force to be reckoned with on the court. Moving along, the next singles player is often Avery Legg who is girls’ varsity tennis’s fearless leader. Legg is known for her long matches in which she always fights for the win. Legg is currently out with an ankle injury, but she continues to be a major presence on the team. As a result of her injury, Legg’s spot is currently being filled by Lilly Schmachtenberger, who has been affectionately titled, “Lil Schmach.” Schmatchtenberger is a no-nonsense player with a unique serve. Due to a rotator cuff injury “Lil Schmach” serves underhand, which always throws her opponent for a loop. Lilly Whitner, who holds down the number three singles spot, offers her witty humor and an uncanny ability to adjust her playing after mistakes. Whitner knows what she needs to do to win. The final singles player is freshman Lily Dolan. Dolan has had no issues adjusting to life as a varsity athlete, and she continues to dominate on the court.
Moving to doubles, the number one doubles spot is shared by partners Nora Huffines and Juliana Pierce. Both pack an impressive punch with their serves, and they are seriously scary at the net. The number two doubles position is held by Kay Finlay and Riley Grover. Finlay and Grover have no reservations about calling each other out on what the other one needs to do to win. With Grover at the baseline and Finlay at the net, the pair poses a serious threat, if I do say so myself. Number three doubles is the all-star pairing of freshman Olivia Armfield and sophomore Maddie Blalock. Both girls are amazingly consistent and hit balls with so much topspin that they are tough to return. Finally, Kate Gray is our fearless exhibition player. She has an amazing forehand that never fails to launch the ball into the very deepest corners of the court.
The team is rounded out by Coaches Hank Harris and Victor Reimer. Hank is very outspoken on how each person can improve as a player and uses drills to focus in on these issues. Victor is quieter, but when he speaks the team always pays attention because his tips and tricks always help to improve our play. Managers Corbin Ellington and Bradley Kelly, members of the boys’ varsity tennis team, also offer tips and are fun competition during practice. Ellington and Kelly also make a mean batch of Gatorade.
The girls’ varsity tennis team never gives up easily and is extremely dedicated to the sport. The recent win against SSSAS added another point and helped us get closer to Episcopal’s Seminary Hill Cup win last Friday. With a 6-4 record and some very close matches, it is no doubt our record will do nothing but improve. Sophomore Gracie Hughes encourages everyone to get out and support and watch GVT work their magic on the court!