By TJ Millman
A week ago, the Milford Girls Tennis Team was sitting at a record of 1-7. Now, a week later, they are the Henlopen Southern Conference Champions. Picking up 3 wins in the last week, all 3 against conference opponents, placed Milford at the top of the South and helped turn a rebuilding year into the beginning of a very promising future.
“This was actually going to be a rebuilding year for our girls. We lost 3 seniors last year that all contributed to our team, and we really planned on this year being about transitioning for the future. Our girls grew so much this year, making progress match by match it felt like, and it was nice having all of our conference matches right here at the end as we hit our stride. I’m just so proud of these girls,” Milford Tennis Head Coach Jacquelyn Powers said.
Over those 3 conference games, Milford only lost 2 matches out of 15. Leading the charge was Milford first singles freshman Summer Davis. Davis didn’t drop a single set over the run and showed the ability to just keep the ball in play. No matter what shot her opponent hit, Davis almost always managed to return the ball until her opponent made a mistake. Davis is just one of Milford’s many talented underclassmen.
“I’m really excited that we have our top 5 girls coming back next year. We have a good team looking forward, and this year has been such a pleasant surprise. I had faith in our girls, but you just never expect a team this young to come in and win the conference. Our girls trained hard all season, and I’m just glad to see their hard work pay off,” Powers said.
Speaking of training, the girls’ team got a lot of help from playing against the Milford Boys Tennis Team in practices. The boys were short on numbers this year, and in practices they would often jump in to play matches against the girls as well.
“Our boys had a rough break this year. We didn’t have enough for a second doubles team, so we had to forfeit one point every match. Always starting with a loss really puts you behind the eight ball, and it stinks for our guys because the players we do have work really hard,” Powers said.
The biggest problem that the Milford Boys faced on the season was just a lack of players, and with 3 seniors it looks like the future is going to rely on how many kids come out next year. Still, Milford managed to turn the boys’ detriment into a positive for the girls.
“At the beginning of the year we really weren’t sure how we should handle the lack of guys, but we managed to make it work for the team as a whole. Our boys’ doubles practiced with our girls all season, and our practices basically became co-ed. I know it helped our girls to have the guys at practice helping to push them every day,” Powers said.
The Milford Girls won their match against Lake Forest by a score of 4-1, and the boys lost 5-0.
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