CLOVER — Renee Farris knows about expectations when the high school tennis season swings into action. She has built the Clover High School girls’ tennis program into perennial title-contenders.
And this year is no exception, despite heavy Lady Blue Eagle losses to graduation the past two years. The CHS girls were 3-1 in always-tough Region 3-AAAA entering this week’s competition.
“We returned three starters, all in new positions,” Farris said. “We have 18 players, many of them new to the team. They are competing every week. It will take time.”
The Lady Blue Eagles tennis team defeated Fort Mill 5-2 last week. They also shut out South Pointe 6-0. Earlier in the season, they defeated York 6-0, but lost to Nation Ford, 4-2.
The Lady Blue Eagles lost singles and doubles tiebreakers to Nation Ford that could have swung the score in Clover’s favor. “It was a closely-contested match,” Farris said.
Farris said the players are working hard in new roles, striving to improve their game. While she is pleased with the team’s success in early-season play, the CHS coach is aware of the level of competition in the region.
Harriett Hall, a junior standout who has competed at the high school level since seventh grade, is the team’s No. 1 singles player after competing at No. 2 last season.
“I like hitting baseline shots,” she said. “I spend a lot of time working on my total game.”
Hall said she plays a lot of tennis in the offseason as a means of sharpening her skills for the coming season. “It also helps my conditioning, which is important playing tennis,” she said.
Though the Lady Blue Eagles lost many players from last year’s roster, Hall feels good about this year’s team and is not surprised by the team’s successful start in the region.
“The key to the team’s continued success this season is working hard at practice to improve our game,” said Hall.
Another junior girls’ tennis mainstay is Corey Brom, who has played high school tennis since the seventh grade. Brom occupied the No. 5 spot on the CHS tennis team last season and has elevated her status to No. 2 this year.
“I am excited about moving up to number two,” said Brom. “I worked hard to reach number two.”
Brom said she works hard to master all phases of the game, and feels confident serving the ball. “I am left-handed, which gives me an advantage when I am serving,” she said. “I also like hitting baseline shots.”
Brom echoes Hall’s sentiments regarding the need to build stamina.
“I play tennis year-round,” she said. “It keeps me in shape. I also jog.”
The Lady Blue Eagles continue their trek through Region 3-AAAA, traveling to Rock Hill High School Thursday to battle the Lady Bearcats at 5 p.m. The next home match for the CHS girls will be Tuesday against Lancaster. The action begins at 5 p.m.
• Individual scores last week are, for the Fort Mill match:
Singles results: Rachel Brooks of Fort Mill defeats Harriet Hall 6-4, 6-3; Corey Brom of Clover defeats Reagan Paff 6-2,6-3; Grace Miller of Clover defeats Ellie Prain 6-2, 6-0; Jessica Zahn of Fort Mill defeats Holley Rowland 6-1, 6-2; and Anna Miszkiewicz of Clover defeats Matea Milojkovic 6-2, 6-0.
Doubles: Harriet Hall & Corey Brom of Clover defeat Rachel Brooks & Reagan Paff 8-3; Ali King & Anna Drechsler of Clover defeat Mya Reeves & Jamie Davis 6-0, 6-2.
• Individual results for the South Pointe match:
Singles: Harriet Hall of Clover defeats A. Price 6-0, 6-0; Corey Brom of Clover defeats R. Byers 6-0, 6-0; Grace Miller of Clover defeats K. Cruz 6-0, 6-0; Holley Rowland of Clover defeats F. Byers 6-3, 6-4; and Anna Miszkiewicz of Clover defeats J. Robinson 6-0, 6-0
Doubles: Ali King & Anna Drechsler of Clover defeat Emily Faris & Aliyah Jackson 6-1, 6-0