March 13, 2013

Rao leads experienced Lady Cards tennis team

By Denis House
Sports Editor

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — South Laurel girls’ tennis coach Carol Johnson is excited about the upcoming season.

“I believe we have a good line up for this spring,” Johnson said. “We lost some seniors last year, but have several moving up in the ranks.”

Returning for the Lady Cardinals is Neha Rao, who has won the region singles title for the past two years.

“With her comes experience to share with this year’s team,” Johnson said. “She never fails to bring in a win and a smile. She gives South Laurel tennis 110 percent.”

Emily Turner and Makenzie Jones are two returning seniors who will also bring experience to this year’s team.

“Those two have proven themselves in the past and they will continue to be the backbone of our program again this year,” Johnson said. “I expect to see exceptional matches from these two both in singles and doubles.”

Also returning from last season are Savannah Durham, Anna McCowan, Kayla Cornett and Mahala Watts. “Their work from last year and this spring will payoff in this year’s play,” Johnson said.

Johnson said she also has several newcomers on this year’s squad.

“Hannah Amburgery, and eighth-grade, shows great promise,” Johnson said. “Following in Neha’s shoes, she will be playing high school tennis as an eighth-grader. The experience at a young age brings about confidence you cannot gain beginning in your junior or senior years. She has excellent skills to bring to the team and the demeanor of an angel.” Two other middle school students, Caraima Merced and Cassie Wagers, have also joined the team this year.

“Even though our outside practices have been few and far between this spring, from what I have already seen, our season will be outstanding,” Johnson said. “The girls are all not only great tennis players,  but are a wonderful bunch of good girls who will support and teach the younger players. In return, I am sure the younger ones will cheer on the upper seeds to victory.”