- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Doug Ford
With a good amount of experience throughout the roster, this year’s Comets girls’ tennis team should have a competitive year. That’s the assessment of coach Greg Donner, who points to an 11-player roster with eight returnees as cause for optimism.
The Comets’ girls tennis team features a blend of experienced players and novices but will be led by a group which return with a great deal of match experience.
“We should be competitive with the teams we face in the upcoming campaign,” Donner noted.
“Overall, we have a lot more experience top to bottom than we had last year. All of our top eight players have had court time in match play situations and should be able to match up well with most teams we face.”
Blair Jeffress, Megan Owen and Brandi Winstead all return for their senior seasons, and juniors Jessica Palmer, Kimberly Farmer and Erin Jemielity also return, as do sophomores Monica Puckett and Juana Dominguez.
Sharisse Weaver, a junior, and Shania DeJarnette and Emily Beadles, both freshmen, join the team this season.
Palmer, starting her third season with the team, is at the top of the singles ladder, followed by Jeffress.
“Jessica showed good form against the best the district had to offer last year, and I think she can be one of the top players in the district this year,” said Donner, adding Palmer has the potential to make it to regional play.
Doubles should be a strong point for the Comets this season due to the number of girls playing with familiar partners, according to Donner.
Jeffress joins Palmer at number one doubles, with the pair giving the Comets a “one-two punch” that has as much experience as most of the top players in the district, Donner noted.
Halifax County is experience at number two doubles with Kimberly Farmer and Owen currently at that slot, and the Comets have several players competing for the number three doubles position.
“The bottom two singles spots as well as number three doubles is most likely to change among Brandi Winstead, Monica Puckett and Juana Dominguez,” said Donner.
“All three have a lot of match time from last year and have been solid in their challenge matches so far.”
Donner saw signs of a good season in the making after a 7-2 scrimmage win against Randolph-Henry, and commented the Comets looked solid “from top to bottom.”
“The two matches we dropped were very closely contested, and I was pleased that the whole team got a chance to play in a match,” he said.
“There is nothing better than match play to let players know how they are progressing.
“Our younger players got some real good experience and I hope that helps us develop as the season continues.
“Overall, prospects look promising for the team, and we are just hoping for some good weather and a lot of court time as we prepare for the district season.”