FORT MILL --
The defending Upper State champion Nation Ford girls’ tennis team is back this year with a new coach, and is looking for the same results in a return trip to the state championship match.
New coach Ann Lamba takes over for Matt Rohring as Nation Ford lost four players from last year to graduation, but reloads with four new girls.
The Lady Falcons have 10 back this season, including three starters.
Lamba said she is happy about the situation she is walking into.
“I feel real good about the girls we got,” she said. “We got a lot of depth. My expectations are way up there. I hope we have a good year. The seniors have really stepped up.”
Nation Ford leads off with senior Ashley Trull starting this year as the Lady Falcons No. 1 player.
Despite being back in 4A, Lamba said the squad should do well in the region this season as Clover, which has been strong in 4A girls’ tennis for years, looks to challenge the Lady Falcons for the region crown.
In fact, the Lady Falcons won’t have to wait long to see what they are made of as they have a tough challenge right out of the gate.
Nation Ford will open its season against Clover Aug. 28.
Fort Mill has high hopes
Across town, Fort Mill is bringing in a young squad and is again looking to make it back to the playoffs.
The Lady Jackets return five players from last year, four of those being starters.
“We will do well,” said head coach Angela Niccum. “We have a young team. This will be a rebuilding year. We are hoping we will be competitive.”
Fort Mill will have freshman Reagan Paff as their No. 1 player.
Like Nation Ford, Clover will be standing in the way of Fort Mill and its plans to win the region.
“Clover is incredibly strong,” Niccum said.
Niccum said that despite its youth, Fort Mill should still make the playoffs.
The Lady Jackets open their season Aug. 28 against South Pointe at home.