Thomas Dale boys tennis finished 7-9 last year and returns three seniors that will lead the way, along with a newcomer that could serve the Knights well in 2016.
Top 6 Seeds:
1. Nate Haskins, senior
A determined and smart player, Haskins always keeps a level head. He’ll lead the way for Thomas Dale in 2016 on his fourth year on varsity.
2. Jacob Crowder, senior
Another four year varsity player, coach Andrew Boydoh said he’s been playing some his best season over the first week and in practice. Crowder is a ‘never give up’ type of player.
3. Wojciech Rogowski, junior
A Polish exchange student, Boydoh applauds Rogowska’s understanding of the game, saying that he has the ability to go far this season.
4. Ryder Elder, senior
Also a standout on the golf links for Thomas Dale, he’s new to tennis but Boydoh said that he’s picked up and learned a lot of about the sport in a short timeframe.
5. Nick Sisson, sophomore
A returning player, Sisson showed promise during his freshman campaign and will be expected to pick up wins near the end of Thomas Dale’s rotation.
6. Malachi Obermuller, junior
A second year player, Obermuller returns for a third year on varsity, and has improved his game vastly. He’ll look to power forward as the season progresses.
The Knights will look to challenge annual contenders James River and Cosby in Conference 3, looking to qualify for the 6A South tournament if they can finish in the top two seeds of the standings.
After an 8-6 campaign in 2015, coach Ellen Womble enters her second season with a top six that includes no senior players.
1. Fatima Felton, junior
Felton played as a number three last year and has emerged as one of Thomas Dale’s top options. She really emerged as a team leader in 2015.
2. Emma Clark, sophomore
The younger sister of former top seed Elizabeth Clark, she rises to the second seed from number four. A year round tennis player, she won MVP honors for the Knights in 2015 and makes a solid doubles team with Felton.
3. Tamia Vines, junior
Vines rose to prominence after beginning 2015 as an unknown. She started as the No. 9 player, then rose to No. 6, earning a spot in the regular rotation. Womble said “she’s all-in” as a tennis player and tough to beat at the net.
4. Angeline Lee, sophomore
Lee moved from North Carolina and has impressed early on as a natural tennis player with good ability according to her coach.
5. Emily Nicol, freshman
A natural athlete that is also a skilled gymnast, Nicol has gotten good early results with the racket. Womble called her a ‘player to watch.’
6. Irene Biju, junior
A second year player, Biju will start the season slotted as the number six seed.
Womble applauded her teams depth and said that she felt she had a number of options that could fill in as needed as the year progresses – these include Mlian Baker, Kristen Palmer, Carli Kenny, Rachel Palmer, Alexus Charity, Jessica Sulewski and Maggie Poulson. Nicole Keels and Kayla Jones are new players, but have been said to be progressing nicely.