By: Anthony Sizemore, Student Sports Reporter
The Alice Lloyd Women’s Tennis team is gearing up for the 2014 season. Jeff Jacobs is in his third season with the team as the head coach. Coach Jacobs says that his team, like last year, is still in a rebuilding phase.
Jacobs is pleased with the team and that the arrow is pointing upwards as far as potential goes. With Courtney Crowder being the only major loss from the team a year ago, the coach thinks that continuity within his team will be very important.
“Towards the end of the season, a lot of the players that I had, I was working with them to develop them,” says Jacobs. “They were actually playing pretty well last year and I am looking for them to improve this year. Ashley Cornett is still the number one player this year. She has shown some improvement over the summer and this past year.”
Cornett is heading into her sophomore year at ALC and hails from Hindman, Kentucky. She captured the 14th region singles title two years ago.
One player that really caught the coach’s eye was Katelynn Rose. The sophomore from Grundy, Virginia was one that Jacobs didn’t know much about but he thought that Rose had quite a bit of upside.
“Towards the end of the year, she was playing really well and I am looking forward to seeing her develop more this year,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs has some new players for this year. He says that he still doesn’t know a lot about them yet but that he likes what he has seen from them and that their ceiling is high.
The season is just now starting and Jacobs hasn’t had a lot of time to work with the team. He is working to improve the inexperienced girls since they don’t have the proper mechanics on the court compared to the more-seasoned players.
With the more advanced girls, I am trying not to do a lot as far as tweaking their strokes. I just want them to get used to moving,” the coach said. “I do mobility drills to improve their footwork. I wished I had more time to do more physical development, particularly with core strength. That is where a lot of the girls are getting hurt… I am trying to help them work on their footwork to help them avoid [injuries] like that, to get them to move better. We aren’t working on strategies for matches yet, we are just keeping things simple.”
Jacobs wants everyone to focus on getting better. If the team does that, then the opportunities for wins will appear.
The rest of the roster includes Crilda Brown (junior from Salyersville, Kentucky), Serena Nickell (junior from Claiborne, Tennessee), Morgan Castle (sophomore from Lucasville, Ohio), Peyton Brown (freshman from Grundy, Virginia), Ashley Hart (freshman from Somerset, Kentucky), Megan Smith (sophomore from Bristol, Virginia) and Alyssa Howard (senior from Hindman, Kentucky).