The Eastside tennis teams both wanted to use their match against Walnut Grove as proof that they’re young squads are moving in the right direction.
With both squads coming away with 4-1 wins in a non-region clash with Walnut Grove, there seemed to me much proof at their disposal.
The Eagles continue to benefit from the return of top singles player Justin Wagstaff, as well as the continued strong play of No. 2 singles player Evan Gravitt.
Wagstaff won his singles match 8-2 while Gravitt grabbed his third victory of the season with an 8-4 win. Others who scored match victories for the boys were No. 3 singles player Ethan Holmes (8-0) as well as both doubles duos.
The No.1 duo of Isaac Ugan and Carter Malcolm won 8-0 while the No. 2 doubles team of Trevor Underwood and Connr Castell took their match by a score of 8-3. Eastside upped its record to 3-1 overall before they begin a stretch of six Region 4-AAAA matches, starting with a home matchup with Salem on Feb. 28.
On the girls’ side, the Eagles boasts one of the best players in the state in freshman No. 1 singles player Abbey Grace Venham. Venham won her match in an 8-0 shutout, while No. singles player Savannah Fearnow won 8-2.
Caroline Dumdie won her set 8-5, while the No. 1 doubles tandem of Molly Carter and Maddie Lunt won 8-6. The No. 2 doubles team of Savannah Zarna and DeKariah Kelly is the only set of girls who lost a match.
With the win, the girls improved to 2-2 overall, and reinforced coach Angie Honey that her team’s progress is sure.
“We only have two returning girls from last season,” Honey said. “Four graduated, one moved and one couldn’t play because of a knee. But of the 12 we have now, seven are beginners. So it makes us really focused on building a solid team for the future.”
In the meantime, Honey is grateful to have her freshman who can star for the Eagles right away.
“She’s the No. 42 player in the state of Georgia,” she said. “She’s a constant tournament player. She loves to compete. We’re really hopeful that she will continue to be with us over these next few years as we continue to build a great team.”
We’ll have more on our other area tennis teams in Part Two of our spring sports preview next week.