Wood makes all-district first teamPublished 9:55pm Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Nansemond River High School senior Casey Wood was the lone Suffolk girls’ tennis player to make the 2013 All-Southeastern District first team, and three other local players were named to the second team.
Wood went 7-3 in singles matches for the season and outscored her opponents 107 to 49 while playing as the Lady Warriors’ No.-1 seed for the second consecutive year. She was happy to end her high school tennis career like this.
“I thought it was good,” she said of her senior season. “I enjoyed it.”
Her performances helped power Nansemond River to a school-best district record of 7-2 in the regular season and a third-place district finish. Wood advanced to the second round of the district tournament in singles and made it to the doubles semifinals with fellow senior Heather Davis.
Lady Warriors head coach Shamus Riley said that while Wood finished third last year among singles players in the district based on her record, she tied for second this year. He summed up what the season was like for her.
“She only had a couple matches where she probably felt threatened,” he said.
The ability she has displayed is made even more impressive when considering that she only plays tennis during the school season. Riley said most No.-1 seeds play the sport more during the course of the year. Her history with the sport has also been limited.
“I tried out for the tennis team as a freshman and made it,” Wood said. “Other than that, I’d never played before.”
Her development as a player has been evident, particularly in the 107-49 scoring differential.
“Now, that was a dramatic improvement this year,” Riley said.
He pointed out some ways she achieved this new high mark.
“Her ball movement and the spin she put on the ball this year is a lot more improved than the past years,” he said. “Last year, she moved her feet a little better, but this year, she learned that she didn’t have to move her feet as much if she put the right movement on the ball.”
“She made the opponents run a lot more, and then put certain spins on the ball to make it go opposite directions than the opponents thought it was going to go,” he said.
Wood said the most satisfying win of the season was “beating (Grassfield’s Alina Creamer), because she ended up winning the district tournament, but I beat her in the regular season.”
Wood’s teammate, Malaika Karriem, was named to the all-district second team, as were Lauren Rice and Kristen Walden of Lakeland High School.