The Petersburg Racquet Club is heading down a road they’ve successfully been down before.
In 2012, the club’s junior tennis team won the United States Tennis Association Advanced 18s state and Southern Team Sectional championships and placed in the top eight of the USTA Jr. Team Tennis National Championships.
On July 26, they will be in Macon, Ga. beginning the defense of their titles in the 2013 state tournament. They won’t be going alone, however, as a total of eight teams from the club will be competing in different age groups and competition levels.
Tennis director Vu Nguyen was confident about what the teams could achieve.
“Our advanced teams are very good, our intermediate and beginner teams are competing in either their first or second year, but our advanced teams have played multiple years so they should be looking to go all the way,” said Nguyen.
Returners from the 2012 team are Hollis Sherman, Sam Dromsky and Braxton Hain, who went through the whole process undefeated in 2012 and Kayla Hergott and Taylor Richards from Lakeside High School’s Georgia High School Association Class AAAAA state championship winning girls team. Joining them are their Lakeside teammate Anneliese Leahy, Brooke Stevens, Augusta Prep’s three-time Georgia Independent School Association singles champion and two-time Augusta Chronicle Girls Tennis Player of the Year, Liam Wiggins, Colby Gandy and Lex Bailey.
Sherman enjoyed the previous experience and was hoping for much of the same results.
“It was amazing,” Sherman said of 2012. “When it hit my brain that we were going to nationals, we were representing our state, we were representing the South as a whole, so we must be pretty good...this year we’re trying to go again, we want to do even better. Top three or maybe first.”
Club general manager and coach Gary Henderson joined the club in August, 2012. He thought the experience would be especially beneficial for the younger players.
“The younger ones get the opportunity by going to state to mix with the older ones as well,” said Henderson. “It’s great for them to see how they can progress as they get older. Good leadership from those older ones. It sets them up not just for tennis but it sets them up in life, really. Life skills, being part of a team, working together, all very important.”
Following the state tournament, the USTA Southern Jr. Team Tennis Sectional Championship is Friday, August 16 to Sunday, August 18 in Auburn, Ala., followed by the national competition in Lexington, S.C. The 14U intermediate/advanced play is Thursday, October 17 to Sunday, October 20, while the 18U intermediate/advanced compete Thursday, October 24 to Sunday, October 27.
Mackensie Arrington, Kaleigh Bakeman, Connor Evenson, Marissa Gallo, Finley Hain, Tommy Morris
Tara Dzin, Pedro Jacome, Connor Javaheri, Ryan Javaheri, Sammy Kapoor, Mary Beth Lowe, Elena McCoy
Caleb Arrington, Teal Bailey, Maggie Horner, Tommy Horner, Jarren McCoy, Lucy Banks McDonough, Chris Turner
Connor Bowles, Avery Harris, Jack McDonough, Cy McLeod, Sammi Rice, Thane Tiffany, Mary Weston
Sam Bailey, Ajla Dzin, Justin Horne, Lilly Howard, Marielle Leahy, William Marcus, Faith Van Reagan
Kylie Duckworth, Cameron Frank, Falkner Hain, Thomas Huff, Jack Lawrence, Caitlin Pintavorn, Catherine Sherman
Maddie Bailey, Andrew Bowles, Elliott Bull, Drew Harris, Sara Hess, Stephanie Munie
John Alexander Bailey, Sam Dromsky, Colby Gandy, Braxton Hain, Kayla Hergott, Annliese Leahy, Taylor Richards, Hollis Sherman, Brooke Stevens, Liam Wiggins