New faces need to propel PCA, Wando, Bishop England tennis teams
The Palmetto Christian Academy girls tennis team hopes a mixture between youth and experience can help improve the 4-6 record of last year’s group.
The Eagles return No. 1 singles player Corey Caulder, a junior and defending region player of the year. Katie Quinn is the team’s lone senior and has been on the team since seventh grade, according to coach Dewey Caulder.
Palmetto Christian will be without No. 2 player Jess Helmus, who graduated. “Our region matches are all going to be tough,” Caulder said. adding Bishop England will be a major non-conference challenge. Caulder is keeping it simple, saying the expectations for this season are to have fun, “see if we can win a few more points each time out and improve our focus.”
The Wando girls tennis team might have lost three key seniors from last season’s region championship group, but the Warriors won’t be starting from scratch.
“The strength of the team is having continuing players from last season mixed with a good amount off new players,” coach Leigha Jakious said. “It makes for a great dynamic.”
The Warriors advanced to the second round of the 4A state playoffs. Team captain Tommi Nagumo’s senior leadership will be missed, Jakious added.
Wando will be tested in mid-September in the Bishop England tournament and begins its regular season slate against the Battling Bishops, Sept. 3. “Our goal for this season is to build off our previous accomplishments,” Jakious said. “The team will continuously plan to improve both as a group and as individual players. We have a great schedule set, which will help the team with this goal.”
The Bishop England girls tennis team will rely on depth after losing two top players from last year’s 2A state championship squad. The Battling Bishops enjoyed a 24-4 record.
“It will be hard to replace them, but we have good depth with our returning players,” coach Kristin Fleming said.
Senior captains Liza Arruda and Hannah Simpson provide leadership, while Caroline Yodic, Gabrielle Dacuba and Lauren Quinn round out the top five. Fleming also praised freshmen Camryn Deems’ and Drue Ranson’s additions to the team.
She added that the goals are clear this season: win the region and repeat as 3-time state champions.