The Briarwood Academy tennis teams are in "full swing," as they are getting prepared for a tough region tournament in a couple of weeks.
Coaches Laurie Wiley and Ashley Wilson are very optimistic that these squads will overcome youth and inexperience on their trek to the region tournament which will be played during the week after Spring Break.
Brooke Wiley returns a shot during a recent match.
"After losing several excellent tennis players last year due to graduation, we have a lot of beginners and young players on both squads," said Coach Wiley. "All these players have the intent to become good tennis players, and everyone is working extremely hard to do that."
She added, "We have 20 players on the girls' team and eight on the boys squad. This is the first time ever that we have a full boys' team."
The task of replacing graduated seniors Burt Goolsby, Al Dudley, Mallory Jo Bradshaw, Kelly Wills and Leslie Lyman has been a challenge for the Briarwood coaching staff, but things are coming together nicely.
This year's rosters include no seniors, so the 2006 season has been a good building year for the Briarwood tennis program.
Members of the girl's team include Jennifer Douglas, Brooke Wiley, Abby McAvoy, Erin Wester, Joy Dudley, Amanda Rutkowski, Samantha Jenkins, Courtney Price, Ali Dyson, Cassie Pickrell, Jennifer Morey, Molly Muns, Bonnie Bounds, Mallory Pilcher, Morgan Pilcher, Anna Goolsby, Cady Gilmer, Morgan Stuckey and Rebecca Prince.
Douglas currently owns a 1-4 record in No. 1 Girls Singles play. She defeated Thomas Jefferson Academy 8-4 for her lone win.
Brooke Wiley is 3-2 overall with an 8-6 win over TJA, a forfeit win against Brentwood and an 8-4 victory over Curtis Baptist in No. 2 Singles play.
McAvoy is 1-1 in No. 3 Singles competition. She recorded an 8-5 win over Curtis Baptist.
Alternate Singles players Wester and Dudley are currently winless for this season.
In No. 1 Doubles play, the duo of Rutkowski and Jenkins are 3-2 overall this season. They defeated TJA in a tie breaker, then posted victories over Gatewood and Brentwood.
The No. 2 Doubles pair of Courtney Price and Dyson are undefeated with a 2-0 record so far. They recorded wins over Gatewood and Curtis.
Prickrell is 0-1 as an alternate for the girls.
"The highlight of our girl's season this far was the victory over No. 1 Doubles team recorded over Gatewood," Coach Wiley said. "Gatewood is a school that eats, breathes, and sleeps tennis, and when Amanda and Samantha beat them, everyone was very excited."
In boy's competition, Dave Joesbury is currently 2-1 in No. 1 Singles play. He defeated Brentwood and Curtis.
Freshman Chase Walker is blistering the courts in No. 2 Singles play with a 4-1 record. He has posted wins over Gatewood twice, TJA and Curtis.
The No. 1 Doubles team of sophomores Andrew Johnson and Hughlon Mays are 1-4 overall with a victory over Brentwood.
Eighth graders Thomas Lynhan and Matthew McElveen are 1-1 in No. 2 Doubles play with a victory over Brentwood.
Other boy's players are freshman Nick Dawson in No. 3 Singles play and Carson Wiley, who serves as an alternate.