Fort Mill Sports

Fort Mill, Nation Ford look to prove themselves

Fort Mill’s Shreya Katti returns the ball during a practice.
Fort Mill’s Shreya Katti returns the ball during a practice.

The girls’ tennis season at Fort Mill and Nation Ford High started recently as both teams feel they have something to prove this year.

The Yellow Jackets look to continue their upward trend of the past two seasons and despite losing three starters from last year’s squad, returns an exciting group to watch. Fort Mill is still trying to get all of its starters positions filled, but expects Elizabeth Fitzgerald and Shreya Katti to be battling for the No.1 singles spot.

Rachel Brooks should be the No. 3 singles player.

“I think we look really good this year,” said head coach Angela Struve. “It’s going to be a good set up.”

The Jackets have very few non-region matches and will be taking on Lancaster and South Pointe in those contests. Going to 5A this year shouldn’t be as tough for Fort Mill in tennis as in other sports, because most of the same schools from 4A moved up as well.

“I don’t see it being a huge thing for us,” Struve said.

When it comes to Region IV competition, the Rock Hill Bearcats still pose the biggest challenge for Fort Mill.

New coach at NaFo

At Nation Ford, the Falcons have new head coach Julie Sawyer taking over this season. Sawyer, a former tennis player at Clemson University, said it is going to be a rebuilding year for the squad.

The Falcons’ No. 1 and No. 2 singles players should be Natalie Sawyer and Leah White.

“A lot of our players are close in their abilities,” she said. “A lot of things need to be sorted out in the bottom of our lineup.”

The Falcons lost all seven starters from last year some due to graduation, while others chose to not play tennis this year. Sawyer said the goal for her this season is to see her players perform better at the end of the season compared to where they started.

Sawyer said the team has a lot of youth and inexperience on it.

“We are going to try and get better at tennis,” she said. “It will be a challenging year. The main goal is to get everybody playing to be a better tennis player.”

Nation Ford will have a home and away match with Indian Land to open the season and then will soon get into their region schedule.

Mac Banks: mbanks@comporium.net; @MacBanksFM

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