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All-North Suncoast boys, girls tennis teams

Boys

Player of the Year

Colin Roller, So., Land O'Lakes

Roller, who recently picked up his learner's permit to drive, went undefeated until his loss in the opening round of the state tournament to Bayshore's Tianyu Bao 6-4, 6-3. That 15-1 record was part of Roller's second consecutive season winning the district title and claiming the Sunshine Athletic Conference's top player honor.

Most impressive accomplishment: Roller helped guide the Gators to a Class 2A state berth. Individually, he did it with impressive play, highlighted by a head-to-head victory against Hernando's previously undefeated Chris Nyholm in the first region round, helping Land O'Lakes to a 5-0 victory. Throughout the season, he teamed with Chris Story to form the North Suncoast's most potent doubles team.

Future plans: Roller still has his eyes on defending the district crown, but after the Gators were shut out at state he will surely be focused on trying to make an impact there as a junior.

Did you know? His father won a national championship in football and his mother won a state championship in basketball. His father, Bob, played linebacker for Division III Widner University (Penn.) in the 1980s. His mother, Felicia, was the starting point guard as a sophomore for York Catholic (Penn.) High when it won state.

First team

Chris Nyholm, Sr., Hernando Successful return to state after a one-year hiatus from high school tennis
Spencer Ong, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch Bulls' top player helped lead team to second region round
Yuya Burkhart, Sr., Wesley Chapel Wildcats' No. 1 helped guide team to a region berth
Chris Story, Sr., Land O'Lakes The Gators' No. 2 and Roller's right-hand man in doubles play
Viroath Danh, Jr., Gulf Among the North Suncoast's elite at No. 1 singles

Second team

David Cross, Jr., Nature Coast

Eric Rivas, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch

Cameron Roth, Sr., Wesley Chapel

Tyler Schwefringhaus, Jr., Nature Coast

Jordin Williams, Sr., Hernando

Honorable mention

T.J. Armstrong, Sr., Central

Landon Burstiner, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch

Victor Cao, Fr., Gulf

Salman Dewji, Sr., Wesley Chapel

Tim Falcon, Sr., Land O'Lakes

Dan Helfrich, So., Wiregrass Ranch

Jordan Jones, Sr., Hudson

Zenon Kouts, So., Nature Coast

Andrew Lund, Jr. Nature Coast

Brian Mills, Sr., River Ridge

Swayze Page, So., Mitchell

Coach of the Year

Dave Wilson, Wiregrass Ranch Wilson took an almost completely revamped team and guided the Bulls to the second region round.

Girls

Co-Players of the Year

Elizabeth Means, Jr., and Sarah Means, So., Wiregrass Ranch

The reputation of the Means sisters preceded them this season, and they delivered in the end. Together, the girls formed the most dominant duo on the North Suncoast, winning the overall doubles Class 3A state title in their first season with the Bulls. The sister combo flourished in North Suncoast action, finding their most challenging matches against River Ridge. In the end, the Bulls avenged a district tournament loss and, led by the Means sisters, earned Wiregrass Ranch's first state berth.

Most impressive accomplishment: Elizabeth Means won a state title at No. 2 singles, defeating Baron Collier's Leslie Raymond 6-0, 6-3 in team competition. Sarah Means fell to Gibbs' Alilah James 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-1 in the final of the No. 1 singles team competition. The Means sisters then won the Class 3A No. 1 doubles title against Baron Collier's Lindsey and Leslie Raymond 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) before taking the overall doubles title. They defeated Chamberlain's Nicole Mera and McKenzie O'Brien 6-2, 6-4.

Future plans: The girls said recently that they were not sure if they would play high school tennis in 2011. Scheduling conflicts were one reason they did not play in 2009. However, they hope to continue to play tennis for a long time and would one day welcome the idea of playing at the collegiate or professional levels.

Did you know? The Means are two of four sisters, and part of a military family last living in Washington D.C. The girls were once featured in a National Public Radio piece, and they have taken part in other sports such as fencing, taekwondo and soccer.

First team

Nicola Wellman, Jr., River Ridge Royal Knight's No. 1 earned singles berth to state
Sarah Vandeberg, So., Zephyrhills Guided the Bulldogs into region and secured a state doubles berth
Alison Steiner, Sr., Hernando Reached second round of state tournament
Tijana Subotic, Jr., River Ridge Royal Knights' No. 2, who helped claim district title
Chelsea Smith, Sr., Zephyrhills Teamed with Vandeberg to reach second day of doubles at state

Second team

Delanie McCabe, Nature Coast

Mallorie Pickersgill, Nature Coast

Hannah Still, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch

Clarisa Vulpe, Sr., Wesley Chapel

Angela Wellman, Fr., River Ridge

Honorable mention

Carly Buhr, So., Sunlake

Jordyn Garcia, Jr., River Ridge

Miranda Gillespie, Sr., Gulf

Linsey Hoskins, Sr., Mitchell

Taylor Laroue, Jr., River Ridge

Brittany Wert, Central

Coach of the Year

Doug Howery, River Ridge The Royal Knights avenged a regular-season loss to Wiregrass Ranch to win the district title on their homecourt. Of course, the Bulls ultimately knocked River Ridge out of the second region round, but not before Royal Knights' No. 1 Nicola Wellman was forced to retire with a health issue winning on Court 1 with River Ridge leading the match.

All-North Suncoast boys, girls tennis teams 05/15/10 [Last modified: Saturday, May 15, 2010 10:49pm]
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