Lady Warriors set for first match
Published 10:00 pm Thursday, March 22, 2018
Nansemond River High School’s girls’ tennis team is set for its first match of the season.
Their season was initially set to begin last week, but the weather had other plans for the Lady Warriors. However, when they do finally step onto the court, they will have a different look and will be under different leadership. Coach Rush Cole will be the new leader, as former coach Shamus Riley decided to stick with one sport — swimming.
Nansemond River will be without four of last year’s top six players due to graduation but does return the Ramey sisters, Hannah and Lauren. They also return seven players overall from last season and have added five via tryouts. Cole believes he has a motivated group excited to return this season.
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“The girls are really working hard and are looking forward to getting started with the season,” he said. “Some of the girls on the team gained a lot of experience under Coach Riley, and I feel like they are ready to get out on the court and play.”
The last few years have been very successful for the Lady Warriors. They have made the state tournament multiple times under Riley and teetered on the edge of making the state championship match.
With losing players like Erin Bonney and Zion McCoy, it may be a bit more difficult for Nansemond River to get back there, but they will be ready for the challenge.
“Lauren and Hannah have both improved during the offseason and are very eager to lead this team this year,” Cole said. “The players from last year who didn’t make the top six have all been motivated by the opportunity they now have to contribute to success.”
The Lady Warriors will get things started by hosting Lafayette High School at 4:30 p.m. Friday. Rush believes this will be a good opportunity to see what the team will need to work on and establish their new lineup. As a program, the Lady Warriors want to continue to stay focused. At least four players will be playing for their school for the first time, so nerves are to be expected.
“We have done a good job of keeping our focus during practices,” Cole said. “Our goal is to go out there, stay relaxed and be positive. They are a joy to work with, and they have welcomed me with open arms as their new coach.”