Always a contender, never a pretender. That’s a good way of describing the Montgomery Academy girl’s tennis program. This year looks to be no different than others. Thus far, the Eagles have compiled a 7-0 record with ease. They have defeated Charles Henderson, Valley, Saint James, Jasper, Trinity (twice) and most recently, LAMP.
MA has captured 17 state team championships. After reaching the semi-finals last year the Eagles come back looking to improve and with a very young team. Only two seniors are on the court, Lucy Chapman and Caroline Deale. Juniors are Martha Ernest, Coleman Speir and Jane Yelverton. There is a trio of sophomores - Ann Cobern Chapman, McRae Freeman and Julia Williams to go along with freshman Mary Lee Kelso.
But the depth chart gets deeper for the Eagles, and in a very interesting way. Jenna Chandler anchors down the number one slot and is only in the eighth grade. The second slot is held down by the youngest of them all, Mae Mae Voltz, a seventh grader. Chandler won the individual state title at number 3 singles last year. The future is bright when your ace isn’t even in high school and has an individual state championship under her belt. Also, McRae Freeman and Anne Cobern Chapman took the state title in number 3 doubles last year.
“Naturally I think these young players will just get better and better. We are fortunate to have a lot of young talent,” Amy Williams, MA’s second year coach said.
And the undefeated Eagles haven’t been fully staffed. The younger Chapman (Anne Cobern) and Julia Williams are late to start because of MA’s extended basketball season. “They are both sophomores. They will make a difference. It may take them a little while to get in the swing of things but they will certainly contribute,” Williams said.
Williams didn’t forecast a final season record but felt her team would prove to be one of the top teams in the state. “We got to figure out some things. We need to arrange our lineup so the team will have the best opportunity to win. The big challenge will be in doubles. That’s the top concern right now,” Williams explained.
MA swept LAMP 9-0 Wednesday, allowing only a few points on the scoring sheet for the Golden Tigers. Singles winners were Jenna Chandler, Mae Mae Voltz, Caroline Deale, Martha Earnest, Lucy Chapman and McRae Freeman. Double winners for the Eagles were Chandler-Voltz, Deale-Freeman, and Chapman-Earnest.