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TENNIS NOTEPAD: No drop-off for Cyclones so far

The Eastern View boys tennis team has gotten off to a fast start despite graduating seven players from a team that tied James Monroe for the Battlefield District regular-season crown in 2013.

Last year’s No. 1 and 2 players—Jeb Carroll and Matt Peacher—were among graduates, but returnees Alex West, a junior, and Hunter Lacy, a senior, have picked up right where they left off.

Eastern View head coach Dena Smith said the meshing of the returning players and the new faces has been imperative to the team’s 9–0 start (6–0 in Conference 22).

“It’s been a team effort,” Smith said. “I’ll have to say our veterans came on and took over our 1 and 2 [positions] and the new faces came in and have helped fill out our No. 3 through 6 spots very well.

“There have been several matches where our 4, 5 and 6 have been the key to our success.”

Along with West’s and Lacy’s strong showings, freshman Sean Weaver, who plays at No. 3, “has been huge to our success so far,” according to Smith, who also noted LJ Hackley—a basketball player playing with the tennis team for the first time—as a “strong foundation” at No. 6.

Another factor that should continue to help is that the team—as well as the girls squad—is being used as a pilot program for a venture between the United States Tennis Association and the Virginia High School League that will allow players to earn points toward their USTA Juniors ranking, while playing for their high school teams.

Smith said one of her new players, No. 4 seed Ben Vial-Snider, just played in his first-ever USTA event last weekend, along with Weaver who is a USTA veteran.

“Playing USTA events gives them a bigger view of tennis and will hopefully allow them to see all the opportunities that are out there to play,” she said. “And on the other side, I think it will help to get the kids that have just played USTA to maybe come out and play high school [since they can now get points for it].”

—Tom Leiss

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/hsfb/2014/04/15/tennis-notepad-no-drop-off-for-cyclones-so-far/