After struggling with weather, illness and a host of strong opponents, the Richmond Hill tennis team has entered region play with authority. Both the boys and the girls wielded impressive wins over Liberty County and Burke County.
Girls’ senior Caroline Benjamin showed maturity and poise with successive victories at Number one singles. Caroline used strong baseline play and coupled it with savvy court presence to put the Wildcats in the Region’s number one position. Fiona Baer notched wins at two singles with Sofia Donleavy and Rachel Dixon successfully share duties at three singles.
Equally impressive was number one doubles team of Annastashia Ames and Emily Stephens. The veteran girls had little difficulty controlling the net and the matches. Newly formed double’s team of Laura Trivitayakun and Kate Macedo blended together and closed out their opponents early. Heather Prescott made a successful debut at four singles.
The boy’s depth proved worthy as they fielded nearly a dozen players in successive shutouts. Michael Zhu, at number one singles, used powerful approach shots and a strong kick serve to baffle the opponents. Jason Trankle, Joe Feck and Huy Phan rounded out the boy’s singles with a series of two-set shutouts. The number one double’s, Nick Balas and Kyle Guither gelled and advanced to recognition as one of the finest double’s teams in the State. Lee Noonburg and Ethan Laine indicated they were a force to be reckoned with in two quick wins at the number two double’s slot. Charles Zhu, Minh Phan and John Rush all gained easy wins and proved their merit to the team.
"The teams are coming together," said head coach Pat Paruso. "We still have players healing and their return will make us stronger. These kids are hungry to play and anxious to win."
The Wildcats go through a serious of tough road games of non-region play over the next two weeks. They need one more region win to assure a spot in the State Playoffs. In the upcoming weeks, they will be looking forward to matches at Glynn County, Jenkins and Camden County.