The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


February 28, 2014

New faces dot EHS girls tennis

ENID, Okla. — Enid’s girls tennis team will take the season-opening Jenks Tournament as a chance to gain experience for the future.

Two of the Acers’ top players — Savannah Blasi (basketball) and Mia Goulart (pneumonia) will be unavailable, opening up spots for freshmen Avery Player and Gemma Cruz to play No. 2 doubles.

“This will be a good chance for them to gain experience,’’ said Enid coach Darrell Herndon. “They have opportunities to be good players.’’

Player is the daughter of former Acer Molly Dense, a one-time state doubles champion and a member of the 1988 state championship team.

“That’s kind of neat,’’ Herndon said.

The Acers, who missed second place by just one point at last year’s state tournament, should have a little bit different look this season with the graduation of four of the top seven players from a year ago.

Herndon said it’s difficult to tell where the Acers stand statewide since most of their traditional competition (Jenks, Tulsa Kelley, etc.) are expected to be loaded again.

That’s one reason he’s looking perhaps to put the team’s strength in doubles.

Alexis Blasi, sixth at No. 1 singles a year ago and Gabrielle Dick, second at No. 2 singles, will be forming the No.1  doubles team.

“They wanted to play doubles this year,’’ Herndon said. “Alexis has taken a lot of bullets for the team (playing No. 1 singles) the past couple of years. She deserves to play where she wants to.’’

Blasi was fifth at No. 2 singles in the state tournament as a sophomore, and was fifth at No. 1 singles as a freshman. Dick, a junior, teamed with her sister Alex to finish second at No. 1 doubles as a freshman.

Savannah Blasi, a sophomore, teamed with Lulu Ruding to finish third at No. 2 doubles as a freshman. She had an 18-1 record with Ruding, and a 21-6 mark with Madison Blevins.

Herndon said he’s not sure where he will play Savannah Blasi, whether it will be at No. 1 singles or No. 2 doubles.

“We’ll see what’s best for her and the team,’’ Herndon said.

Goulart is back in school, but her physical activity is restricted. Herndon is not sure when she will be back at 100 percent. She had a good summer on the Missouri Valley Tennis Association circuit last year.

Abby Gwin will play  No. 1 singles at Jenks today. She is ranked No. 130 in the Missouri Valley Tennis Association in Girls 14s.

Kaylee Heitfield, who has been on the team for three years, will get her shot at No. 2 singles. She was unable to break the talented varsity lineup a year ago, but was 5-3 in singles while playing two varsity tournaments a year ago.

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