It may be hard to believe, but the Henlopen Conference Tennis Championships are right around the corner, and one of the team’s vying for the top spot this year is the impressive Smyrna Eagles.
The Lady Eagles have had yet another tremendous regular season, currently sitting at 11-3 on the season fresh off a 3-2 victory over Indian River.
So far this season, Smyrna has hit just two road blocks and they both so happen to be rivals atop the Henlopen Conference. Like many teams in the state, Smyrna has had trouble with Caesar Rodney. The Lady Eagles have lost both meetings with CR by 5-0 scores, and fell to Dover in a close matchup, 3-2, on Thursday.
However, the Lady Eagles have seen a lot of success this season, thanks in most part to a strong senior leadership core and a highly competitive group of underclassmen.
Leading the way in 1st singles this season has been junior Katherine Clark, who has solidified herself into the top spot on the Eagles team. Meanwhile, senior 2nd and 3rd Singles players Morgan Popovich and Mackenzie Thompson have added some stability in the back-end of the singles team leading to a lot of the team’s success this season.
“Katherine has improved from last year, and it’s showing,” said Smyrna head coach Courtney Markiewicz. “Morgan and Mackenzie have made the change from doubles to singles smoother than expected.”
On the doubles side of things, the Eagles have relied on a senior duo, and a pair of sophomores to set the tone.
While the senior 1st doubles pairing of Jessica Wattay and Leah Blair have struggled as of late, they have impressed this season as well. They’ve shown the kind of fight a 1st doubles pairing needs, going up against some of the tougher duos in the state this season.
The sophomore pairing of Jacey Young and Payton Zolper have turned some heads this season, losing just three match ups this season. However, the duo took Caesar Rodney’s team of Jessica Ament and Madison Cole the distance twice this season.
And with the Henlopen Conference Championships this weekend, the Eagles believe they have a shot to come away with the crown.
“All the girls should continue to have a good season, and fair well at the conference tournament,” Markiewicz said.