EMORY, Va. – Steve Brooks in his second season at the helm of the Emory & Henry College Men's & Women's Tennis Teams. Last season saw a tremendous level of success for the women's team as it posted an 11-7 (6-4 ODAC) record on the way to a semifinal appearance in the ODAC Tournament. E&H saw three players named to All-ODAC Teams and had the ODAC Player of the Year in Sveva Mazzari, who has since transferred to the University of Houston. Both the men's and women's teams added a lot of depth, which should be beneficial in their quest to the postseason this spring.
On the women's side, sophomore Katie Meade (Coeburn, Va.) was named to the All-ODAC Second Team at No. 6 singles. As a freshman, she posted an 11-2 record, which was the second-most wins on the team, and added five doubles victories. She also had the highest winning percentage at six singles in the ODAC. Senior Savanna Summers (Bluff City, Tenn.) was named to the All-ODAC Second Team at No. 1 doubles with Mazzari. She and Mazzari went 12-2, as Summers also posted seven singles wins.
Senior Lauren Riner (Coeburn, Va.) won five singles matches and eight matches at No. 2 doubles last season. Ana-Belen Gomez (San Antonio, Texas) picked up seven singles victories overall last season, five of which came at the number three spot. Senior Kala Curtis (Locust Grove, Va.) won three matches at six singles for the Wasps in 2016 while sophomore Kaitlyn Sheaves (Staunton, Va.) won three matches at four singles and two matches at five singles.
For this season, Brooks brought in four new players to help the Wasps return to the ODAC Tournament. E&H welcomes two transfers in Liz Graham (Bristol, Va.), who will likely play at the number one flight, and Bri Pierce (Purlear, N.C.), who joins the program from Wilkes Community College. Kelsey Holt (Staffordsville, Va.) and Emily Holland (Lubbock, Texas) will add depth to the roster in their freshman seasons.
The men's team has created a pipeline from nearby Gate City, Virginia, as half of the roster graduated from Gate City High School, and will likely have great chemistry and cohesion. Seniors John Dalton Ferguson and Luke Funkhouser have been teammates since high school. Ferguson led the Wasps with seven wins at one singles last season. Funkhouser got a taste of victory at the Methodist Tournament last season, as he won the consolation bracket in both singles and doubles. Also from Gate City is fellow senior, Jared Carter. Carter played in two singles matches and three doubles matches last season. Senior Kamil Aliev (Moscow, RUSSIA) earned a pair of wins in both singles and doubles last year. Senior James Watson-Dare (Charlotte, N.C.) played twelve matches last season as well.
Sophomores Liam Davidson (Newport News, Va.) and Andrew McClung (Roanoke, Va.) return from last year's squad. Both had one victory last season. Gate City teammates Cooper Garrett and Dalton Shipley make up two of the three freshmen on the squad, while Grayson McCarty (Marion, Va.) will also add depth to the team.
Brooks and the Emory & Henry Tennis Teams will look to capitalize on the success they had last season. With an infusion of young talent and talented transfers, the Wasps are likely to be strong competition in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. The Wasps' first matches are on Sunday, February 19 at home against Ferrum College. First serve is scheduled for noon.