Augusta Christian's Maggie Holmes returns the ball during a doubles match with her sister Katie Holmes. The girls are ranked #1 in doubles.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Tennis teams that have taken on the Augusta Christian School squads this season have had doubles trouble.
The AC Lions sport Nate and Joe Tingen, while the Lady Lions offer Maggie and Katie Holmes. The brother-sister acts compete at No. 1 doubles for AC, and both teams are unbeaten in 2002.
"I think it's an advantage," AC coach Mike Giddens said of having family members working in tandem on the court. "It would probably be an advantage (to use them as singles players), but I'd rather them play together. Those two teams are almost assured a win each time we play."
The key to success, the brothers and sisters agree, is to not have any sibling squabbles during matches.
"It could be a disadvantage if we got mad at each other, but so far it's been good," Katie said. "We get along real well, at home and at school, and that helps us on the court. We know each other's games."
Nate, a junior, and Joe, a freshman, have been rising through the junior ranks since they were eight or nine, and they aren't new to the doubles scene - the Tingens teamed to win the Georgia Independent Schools Association Class AAA doubles championship last year.
"We felt we could win if we played together, so we decided to team up. He's mainly a 'hit it in the court' type player, and it's my job to hit the winners," Nate said. "We've been working real hard. We're looking to win state again this year. Hopefully our whole team will win it this year."
Maggie and Katie Holmes and Nathan and Joseph Tingen from left) are two teams of siblings at Augusta Christian Day School that are ranked #1 in doubles for boys and girls.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The sisters each qualified for the state tournament for AC last year, but separately; Katie played singles, while Maggie paired with Blair Adams to finish as runners-up in the doubles competition.
With Adams gone, it was natural for Maggie and Katie to take over at No. 1 doubles.
"It was sad to see my partner go, but I was looking forward to this year with Katie. We understand each other, and I know where she's going to be on the court," said Maggie, a senior. "We have some different strong points, and hopefully that will be enough to take us all the way (at state). This is my last year with Katie in high school tennis. Taking state would be a great finish to a good year."
Both the Augusta Christian boys and girls tennis teams are having banner seasons. The Lions have lost once, to Augusta Prep, and the Lady Lions stand 8-0 heading into Region 4-AAA tournament, which will be held next Wednesday at Newman Tennis Center.
"We definitely need to focus on region before thinking about state," said Katie, a sophomore. "It's not going to be easy."
Along with strength at No. 1 doubles, AC freshman Chris Motes has performed well at No. 1 singles, and that's no surprise - Motes is ranked No. 1 in the state in Boys 14s.
The No. 2 doubles team of Troy Freeman and Paul Moore also are unbeaten. In singles, No. 2 Richard Holley is solid, while Scott Bodden, Corey Bohanan and Shawn Bohanan have shared time at No. 3.
The Lady Lions feature eighth-grader Jaclyn Fields, who is undefeated at No. 2 singles. Brittany Jackson plays No. 1 singles, with Jessica Faulkner and Leighan Beaudreau rotating at No. 3. Senior leadership is provided by Diana Stephens and Elaine Riley at No. 2 doubles.
"These are just a great bunch of kids," Giddens said. "They're very coachable."
Augusta Christian's regular-season schedule concluded on April 1, so the players will have to renew their focus for the Region 4-AAA tournament.
"The break is somewhat of a concern, because there's a tendency to relax a little bit," Giddens said. "We come back (after Masters Week), and then two days later, we have region. I know, and they know, that's for all the marbles. I think they'll be ready."
That goes double for Maggie Holmes.
"We'll try to feed off the confidence we've gained from beating all the teams," she said. "There will be a lot of pressure, but we're going to have a lot of confidence."
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