COVINGTON, Ga. — The Eastside Lady Eagles’ tennis team is coming off one of its closest matches of the season as it edged out Ola 3-2 Tuesday to stay undefeated on the season.
It all came down to the finals singles match as Sarah Jane Moss locked down the victory for her and her teammates and the atmosphere was described by some as amazing.
Staying undefeated helps this Lady Eagles squad continue to build momentum as the season continues to progress. This outstanding start has first-year head coach Lee Shepard seeing a strong playoff push as a real possibility.
“I have really high hopes for this team,” Shepard said. “I’m not sure about all of the other teams, but they continue to get better and better. It’s the fact that they’re not only great kids, but they’re also great players.”
From what Shepard has seen in her first year as the team’s head coach, it as “top-to-bottom” strengths. She’s been impressed with her two doubles teams, which consist of Meredith McCrorey and Maddie Lunt, and Kinsley Dozier and Natalie Parker.
Taking up the roles of the three singles players are Abbey Grace Venham at the first spot, lone senior Danie Lamadieu holds down the second spot and Moss rounds out the group in the third spot.
Shepard sees no glaring weaknesses on this team as each player has made great strides this season. However, one of the greatest strengths for this team comes at their number one singles spot with Venham.
Venham, a junior who’s carved out a reputation as one of the Class AAAA’s top individual players, has not lost a single match since becoming a member of the Eagles tennis team as a freshman, and she said that staying undefeated throughout her high school career is at the top of her list of goals.
As for team aspirations, Venham hopes that they can improve on last year’s first-round exit from the playoffs. She knows that if they keep the energy and motivation up then anything is possible.
“I was sad (last year after their first round playoff loss), but we just need to stay motivated,” Venham said. “We kind of lost motivation towards the end of the season. We just really need to stay motivated and keep the energy high. I think we can really go far, this year.”
Regardless of how this Eagles team does record-wise, Venham said that this bunch’s family-type feel makes Eastside tennis enjoyable.
“Sometimes just like seeing your teammates during your matches or even just support in practice is what helps you do better,” Venham said. “It’s exactly like having a family away from your family.”