by Anthony Sizemore, Student Sportswriter
The Alice Lloyd College women’s tennis team is moving into the second half of the 2013 season. While there is a lot of potential with this group of players, the Lady Eagles are in a rebuilding phase. Out of the eight players that are on the roster, eight of them are either freshmen or sophomores. Despite losing Rebekah Bevins and Lydia Harris to graduation, coach Jeff Jacobs feels that his roster has plenty of talent and could end up surprising some people.
Jacobs, formerly the tennis coach at The June Buchanan School, is elated to work with this unit. He likes the youthful exuberance that this group brings to the court, including the local newcomer from Hindman, Kentucky, Ashley Cornett. Jacobs raved about the freshman’s talent and enthusiasm for the game. A Knott County Central grad, Cornett was the 14th Region singles champion last year.
“I’ve known her quite well for the last few years,” says Jacobs. “She’s been the adversary (for players at JBS), so I was tickled to death to have her here at Alice Lloyd. She has a lot of passion and intensity out on the court. She’s always ready to play. To have her bring that to this team is a great benefit for us.”
Jacobs says that he has been working with the team on the basics. The coach wants his team to work on the fundamental aspects of the game before the players get into tactics. It is very important in Jacob’s mind that this group of players learn the nuances of the game before getting into the technical phase of it.
When asked about the team’s expectations and aims for the remainder of the season, the coach was candid about his prospects.
“I do expect to win a few matches, but we don’t yet have the recruiting base to bring in the kind of players that a lot of these other colleges do,” he said. “We’re still heavily involved in a rebuilding phase.”
Jacobs continued on to say that if the tennis team can recruit a few more players and get the players that are currently on the roster to play up to their capabilities, then the team will be fine.
Along with Ashley Cornett, the tennis roster includes Crilda Brown (sophomore from Salyersville, Kentucky), Kylie Clay (sophomore from Chapmanville, West Virginia), Serena Nickell (sophomore from Claiborne, Tennessee), Courtney Puckett (sophomore from Oakwood, Virginia), Courtney Crowder (senior from Harrogate, Tennessee), Morgan Castle (freshman from Lucasville, Ohio), and Katelynn Rose (freshman from Grundy, Virginia).