Nation Ford High's womens tennis team is off to a fast start after raising its record to 7-1.
The Falcons won all four matches they played in the past two weeks, including one against Fort Mill High School played Thursday, Sept. 18.
"It was a really close match, but the girls were able to beat the cross-town rivals," head coach Matthew Rohring said. "It shows how far we have come in just over a year."
"It's amazing how much we have improved," he said. "The girls have worked so hard and have now proven themselves against a strong team in the region. It was the biggest match in Nation Ford tennis history thus far and now we have to keep this momentum going."
This past week, the Lady Falcons did keep the momentum going as they defeated Northwestern and Gaffney. Over the past two weeks, Nation Ford has gone 4-0 and outscored its opponents 22-5 in sets played.
Ashley Trull has been handling everyone she faces and sets the tone as the Falcons number one singles player. Trull outscored opponents 48-13 in her last four matches. She beat Michelle Goss of York 6-2, 6-2 and handed Juliana Araque a 6-1, 6-1 loss against Fort Mill. In the Northwestern match she defeated Chandler Green 6-2, 6-2, and last Friday she took out Gaffney's Aubrey Hopping 6-1, 6-1.
"Ashley continues her outstanding play," Rohring said. "She has yet to be challenged this year in the region and her confidence is also at an all-time high. Her creativity and decision-making on the court are reminiscent of an upperclassman, but she is only in the eighth grade."
Rylee Smith split her matches over the last two weeks. She defeated Katia Patrick of York 6-2, 6-3 and Fort Mill's Spencer Collins 6-2, 7-5. She lost her matches against Maggie Orr of Northwestern 2-6, 3-6 and Robin LeCroy of Gaffney 4-6, 4-6.
The Falcons third-ranked singles player, Melanie Mullen, won three of her last four matches. Mullen defeated Jessi Cook 6-4, 6-1 of Gaffney on Friday. She also had victories over York's Mary Hall and Fort Mill's Dana Proctor. Her only loss came on Tuesday when Ruth Anne Burnette of Northwestern defeated her 4-6, 0-6.
"Coming back from a tough loss to Northwestern on Tuesday, Melanie Mullen played well for us at third singles," Rohring said. "She hasn't been feeling well, and it was good to see her rebound."
-Sarah Tourville, the number four singles player, also was victorious in three of her last four matches. She defeated York's Holly Canipe 6-2, 6-1, but lost to Fort Mill's Maddy Katz 3-6, 4-6. She rebounded and took out Northwestern's Joanna Kohn 6-0, 6-1 and beat Charmy Bhanderi of Gaffney 6-3, 6-3.
Rohring said Tourville has been playing very well of late and has gained a lot of confidence as the season has progressed.
Chelsea Jasper rounds out the top five singles players for the Falcons and also won three of her last four matches. Jasper was stopped by Fort Mill, but had 6-1, 6-1 victories over Tuann Tran of Gaffney and Mary Goss of York. Jasper also beat Randi Honeycutt of Northwestern 6-1, 6-3.
The second-ranked doubles team of Morgan Jasper and Jordan Bowers won their last four matches, winning 48 of their last 60 games.
"The doubles team of Jordan and Morgan continue to impress," Rohring said. "They are playing smart tennis and are becoming more consistent net players."
They won 6-0, 6-0 against Gaffney, 6-0, 6-3 versus Northwestern, 6-3, 6-4 against Fort Mill and 6-1, 6-1 over York.
Rohring is pleased with how the season has started and is impressed with how far the program has come in just its second season.
The Falcons have two matches coming up this week against Clover and a rematch against York.