Prep Tennis: Salisbury 9, West Stanly 0
By Ryan Bisesi
OAKBORO ó As matter-of-factly as Salisburyís girls tennis team has started its run for a fourth consecutive state title this week, the excitement boded highly throughout the players and coaching staff Tuesday afternoon. After all, its a whole new season for which to resume a steep tradition.
The Hornets made quick work of West Stanly in a 9-0 win, their second-straight road match to open the season.
After the Hornets matched their three-peat from the mid 90ís last year, a new hunger arose, one that made Salisbury want to win four straight titles, which would be a school record. Even though the season has just left the womb, the Hornets displayed a form in which in would be hard for anyone to stop.
In fact, the toughest foe so far has probably been each other in practice.
ěThe girls have been really beating up on each other in practice,î Salisbury coach Chris Myers said. ěItís definitely a successful start to what we hope is going to be a great season.î
The two returning seniors, Joy Loeblein and Erika Nelson are the Hornets No. 1 and No. 2 singles players. Loeblein defeated Allison Swaringen 6-1, 6-0 and Nelson topped Allie Watkins 6-0, 6-0. Each have played since they were freshman and have a chance to win a state title all four years.
ěWeíve been in school together since we were four,î said Nelson, who is considering playing collegiately at Wheaton College. ěWeíve played tennis together and played a lot of sports together.î
Junior Katelyn Storey and sophomore Madeline Hoskins, who played in every match last season, each earned 6-0, 6-0 victories. Juniors Sallie Kate Meyerhoeffer did the same to round out singles play.
In doubles, Loeblein and Nelson teamed up for an 8-1 win while Alexandra Drye and Meredith Hovis won 8-0. Storey and Hoskins were 8-0 winners as well for the Hornets.
ěSalisbury has an excellent program,î West Stanly coach Keith Hinson said. ěWe like to schedule them since itís a learning experience for our girls.î
Salisburyís still good. Most tennis fans around the area have long since learned that.
However, the Hornets have worthy opponents in the near future, as they face Brevard Friday and Asheville Saturday.
ěItís fun to go out there and play some good teams,î Loeblein said.
NOTE: Salisbury beat South Rowan 9-0 Monday in the season opener.