The Bremen High School girls' tennis team is off to a promising start to the 2016 campaign, rattling off a 4-1 victory over Carrollton at Sunset Hills Country Club on Thursday afternoon to improve to 2-0 on the young season.
The Lady Blue Devils overcame the elements and the Lady Trojans to prevail in the local showdown, getting a pair of wins on the singles line and sweeping the doubles matches on a brisk late February outing.
"All the girls were complaining that they haven't been able to play since last week. I said, 'Well, neither did they,'" laughed Bremen coach Dan Gurley.
In singles action, Bremen registered wins from No. 2 Lucy Hughes Parrish (6-4, 6-3) and No. 3 Lillian Hammon (6-3, 1-6, 10-5), while the pairings of No. 1 Elizabeth Knott/Hannah Lowe (7-5, 6-3) and No. 2 Rachel Forrister/Gracie Walker (4-6, 6-3, 10-8) won tight matches.
Carrollton got its win from Alli Hodges at No. 1 singles (6-2, 6-3).
Lady Trojan head coach Pam Lambert said her squad has also been hit by the weather bug early in the season, which has compounded issues for an already young team.
"We haven't had much practice time this past week. None, actually. It's hard when you can't get out there and practice and build your team," Lambert said. "Most of them were here last year, but we're still young. We have one senior, four juniors, a freshman and a sophomore."
Doubles play is more of the question mark for Carrollton, as juniors Emily Godwin and Tyra Zachary took the No. 1 line Thursday, followed by senior Jenna Williamson and sophomore Kate Harvey at No. 2.
"We're still working on our doubles right now, trying to get that winning team and perfect match together," Lambert said. "We're going to be going to a tournament at Jekyll [Island] next weekend and that's kind of when we can kind of let everyone play and bond and move them all around and hopefully get us two good doubles teams after we finish there."
For Bremen, senior Charli Allen returns to take the No. 1 singles spot, joined by Parrish and Hammon at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, making for a formidable force in singles play.
"Charli is going to give anybody a good match. She may go down, but when she does, she goes down swinging. She's playing really well. Lucy Hughes, she's just a very steady girl and then Lillian, she's very streaky. She likes pounding the ball. So when she's on, she will kill people. But if she's off, she doesn't," Gurley said. "But she's still pretty good, especially most teams don't have anybody that can handle her at No. 3 singles."
At doubles, Bremen has four talented players that make for two quality teams and a tough out at either spot.
"Our doubles teams, both of them are pretty good with comparable skill level. So we don't have a lot of fall-off at doubles on the girls' team," Gurley said.
Going for its fourth consecutive Region 5-AA title this spring, Gurley has high hopes that the Lady Blue Devils can make a deep run in their final year in Class AA.
"I would like to see them go further than they've gone before. I would like to go final four in state," Gurley said. "I mean, that would be a good year with this tennis team. It all depends on the draw and who you get the first, second and third round. They have the chance if they play well."
Story by Corey Cusick
Photos by Ricky Stilley and Kim Campbell
Reprinted from Times-Georgian