NSA tennis hopes for success

Published 10:12 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Henry Luzzatto



Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s girls’ tennis team looks to build on the success of last season.

Sheryl Raulston, the team’s head coach, said the team expects to have a strong year, hoping to bring home silverware by the end of the season.

“We’re going for the state championship,” Raulston said. “It’s something we’re always shooting for, but we have a good chance this year.”

The tennis team had a successful season last year, reaching the semifinals of the state championship before being eliminated by the eventual winners. Raulston has her eyes on winning states this year and finishing as the top Division Two team in the conference.

“It’ll be tough, but I’m confident we can do it,” she said.

Raulston said a key to the team’s success could be top player Elvie Sellers, who won every Division Two match last season.

Sellers, a senior, said she hopes to continue her good form from last season.

“Hopefully I can continue playing like last year,” she said. “I want to give it all my senior year and have a really good showing.”

Sellers said she was especially looking forward to beating NSA’s rivals Norfolk Academy and Cape Henry Collegiate. She explained that NSA competes in Division Two because of its smaller student body, while the larger Norfolk Academy and Cape Henry have Division One tennis. Sellers said she did not lose against fellow Division Two schools, but did not beat the bigger teams.

“I’m definitely prepared to give it my all and try to beat them this year,” she said.

Despite the departures of three seniors, Raulston said the younger players will be able to step up this season.

“We had strong players who were just barely not making it into the starting lineups last season,” she said. “We have a good, strong base, and some talented JV players who are moving up this season.”

The girls’ team was ranked third in the state last year, but they plan to better their ranking this year.

“We’re hoping we can get a lot of rising freshmen and sophomores to step up and help the team get to the next level,” Sellers said.

Sellers said the team has a desire to improve on its showings from the previous seasons and become state champions.

“We all want state rings,” she said. “We always came close to getting to the finals and winning, but we think we can break that barrier this year.”

Though the sport is dependent on athleticism and technical skill, Raulston said a key factor for the team is the spirit and camaraderie between the players.

“We have strong players and a fun team that enjoy playing with each other,” she said.

Sellers said she looks forward to leading the team in her senior year.

“I’m so prepared,” she said. “My favorite part of NSA is the tennis season.”