The York Comprehensive High School girls’ tennis team lost to undefeated Fort Mill 6-0 in the final match of the season.
Despite the loss, the Cougars had strong moments.
The Lady Cougars, under second-year head coach Rusty Graham, won four matches and lost several close matches, including a couple tiebreakers.
Junior Heather Bomar, whose forehand is among the best in the region and has played No. 1 singles since her freshman year, said, “Playing No. 1 has a lot to do with your mindset. If my opponent played her best and I played my best, and she played better, that’s okay.”
“You have to play with confidence and the proper mindset, knowing you will be competing against the opponent’s best player every match,” Bomar said.
Typically, Bomar’s first serve has a lot of zip. “I take a little off my second serve,” she said. “I don’t want to double-fault and give my opponent an easy point.”
Bomar said her style of play depends on the flow of the game. “I can adjust my game depending on the rhythm.”
Senior Katherine Wilkins had a competitive year at No. 4 singles. Wilkins, a multitalented athlete, played softball and volleyball before settling into tennis.
Unlike the powerhouse programs in the region loaded with club-tennis participants, the Lady Cougars have none.
“I didn’t know how to keep score when I started playing tennis,” said Wilkins, grinning. The more she played, however, the more she developed an appreciation for the sport.
“I love tennis,” she said. “I know the total team score decides the winner, but it’s you against your opponent in your singles match.”
While most singles players at all levels struggle with their backhand, Wilkins said, she relies on hers.
“I have confidence in my backhand,” she said. “I hit it and it goes flat over the net.”
Wilkins’ advice to those aspiring to high school tennis: “I would say give it a try. They might love it like I do.”
Graham said seniors Wilkins and Kaitlyn Felske made big contributions to the team, as did first-year senior participants Aubrey Wood and Marley Littleton.
“I coached Katherine and Kaitlyn two years and enjoyed coaching Aubrey and Marley this season,” he said.
“We have a good many newcomers in the program,” said Graham. “We will develop their skills and fundamentals for the future.
“I will start boys’ tennis preparations soon and look forward to coaching the girls next fall.”