Title run falls short for NSA tennis

Published 6:59 pm Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy girls’ tennis team has been craving a state championship ever since it came up short in the state title match last year, but that same hunger will have to drive them for another year.

The No. 3 Lady Saints traveled to Charlottesville to face No. 2 The Covenant School on Friday in the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division II state semifinals and ended up falling 5-2.

It was a turnaround from last year when it was NSA beating Covenant 5-2 in the state semis.

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“They did have some new players (this year),” Nansemond-Suffolk coach Sheryl Raulston said, noting the Lady Eagles were just a strong team overall. “In the matches we lost, we just got outplayed.”

For No. 1 singles and doubles, though, it was the Lady Saints who outplayed Covenant.

Junior Elvie Sellers routed Corinna Jennings of the Lady Eagles 10-2 in singles play after having teamed up with senior Ria Khandpur to defeat Jennings and Eleanor Lee 10-2 in doubles.

Sellers closed out the season by remaining undefeated against all No. 1 singles players from Division II schools in the state this year.

Raulston also highlighted her seniors and team captains for their contributions to another successful year for Nansemond-Suffolk. They include Khandpur, Anuja Shah and Mercer Hartman.

The Lady Saints will return most of their team next year, led by Sellers, while Hampton Roads Academy and some of the other top VISAA Division II teams are losing a lot of seniors this year. All of this leaves Raulston confident that her team can make another run at the state title.

“We’re a top contender, and we’re going to be a top contender next year,” she said.

Following are the doubles results from Friday’s VISAA Division II state semifinals:

  • No. 1: Sellers/Khandpur (NSA) defeated Jennings/Lee (CS) 10-2
  • No. 2: Dahnert/Boland (CS) defeated Gottlieb/Shah (NSA) 10-4
  • No. 3: Lainhart/Fox (CS) defeated Hannah/Watts (NSA) 10-6

Following are the singles results:

  • No. 1: Elvie Sellers (NSA) defeated Corinna Jennings (CS) 10-2
  • No. 2: Emily Dahnert (CS) defeated Ria Khandpur (NSA) 10-3
  • No. 3: Allison Gottlieb (NSA) vs. Ashley Lainhart (CS) 6-6 (unfinished)
  • No. 4: Eleanor Lee (CS) defeated Caitlyn Hannah (NSA) 10-4
  • No. 5: Anuja Shah (NSA) vs. Brianna Boland (CS) 7-9 (unfinished)
  • No. 6: Hayley Fox (CS) defeated Chloe Watts (NSA) 10-7