Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

North Suncoast girls tennis preview

WESLEY CHAPEL — Most days you won't find Wiregrass Ranch's two biggest stars at the school's tennis courts.

They are often excused, allowed to practice with a private coach or travel to various tournaments around the country.

They once trained at the Southeast Tennis Center in Washington, D.C., where Serena and Venus Williams often would visit, and were once subjects in a National Public Radio feature, Tennis' rising stars share their passion, in 2007.

Seasoned and experienced, Sarah and Elizabeth Means are expected to give the Bulls a huge boost in 2010 and might leave a lifelong watermark on their teammates.

"They're amazing," Wiregrass Ranch coach Jewell Fye said. "… The first time I saw them play was for tryouts. They were just rallying, then the serves. Oh my gosh, they're amazing."

The Meanses have made an impact in just the few weeks they've been Bulls.

Their inspiring play and fresh ideas have helped fuel teammates, making them more focused at practice and eager to raise their game.

"They come in with a lot of good ideas about teamwork," Fye said. "They have words for the week. It's energizing for the whole team. They have us all excited."

The Meanses help lessen the loss of standouts Sidney Simpson and Amber Fahrner, who are no longer with the team.

Hannah Still and Katie Bonti, who would have been the Nos. 1 and 2 players had the Meanses decided not to play, but said there was no animosity about dropping to lower spots and that the team all but rolled out a red carpet.

"They work harder and they are better than me, I have to say," Bonti said. "The better person plays and I'm fine with that. No. 4 is a great position. I'm still on varsity and I'm going to play with the team. The main thing is just to have fun."

Bonti then whispered with excitement that the biggest benefit to welcoming the Meanses is a potential state berth.

The Bulls finished second at districts and regionals last year. A state berth would be a school first.

"That would be nice," Bonti said. "We're hopeful."

Izzy Gould can be reached at igould@tampabay.com or (813) 421-3886.

fast facts

New districts

Class 3A, District 5: Central, Citrus, Hudson, Lecanto, Leesburg, Ridgewood, River Ridge, Springstead, Wiregrass Ranch

Class 2A, District 6: Anclote, Gulf, Land O'Lakes, Mitchell, Pasco, Sunlake, Wesley Chapel, Zephyrhills

Class A, District 8: Academy at the Lakes, Berean Academy, Berkeley Prep, Bishop McLaughlin, Cambridge, Carrollwood Day, Citrus Park Christian, Academy of the Holy Names, Seffner Christian, Tampa Catholic, Tampa Prep

Independent: Hernando Christian

fast facts

Girls to watch

Nicola Wellman, River Ridge, Jr.

Tijana Subotic, River Ridge, Jr.

Sarah Means, Wiregrass Ranch, Jr.

Elizabeth Means, Wiregrass Ranch, So.

Hannah Still, Wiregrass Ranch, Jr.

Miranda Gillespie, Gulf, Sr.

Sarah Vande Berg, Zephyrhills, So.

North Suncoast girls tennis preview 02/15/10 [Last modified: Monday, February 15, 2010 9:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays make Hechavarria trade official

    Blogs

    Here is the release from the team ...

     

  2. Jones: Will Tampa Bay hit a Hall of Fame dry spell now?

    Lightning Strikes

    Marty St. Louis may lack the Hall of Fame stats, but two scoring titles, an MVP award and clutch goals should count for a lot. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
  3. Scotty Bowman says 'it's about time' Andreychuk got HOF call

    Blogs

    For Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman, Dave Andreychuk finally being part of a Hall of Fame class is especially gratifying.

    Scotty Bowman drafted Dave Andreychuk in the first round (16th overall) in 1982 and coached him the first five seasons of his career.
  4. Dave Andreychuk going into Hall of Fame (w/photo gallery)

    Blogs

    Dave Andreychuk said Monday began "business as usual."

    Dave Andreychuk battles Calgary's Andrew Ference during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final.
  5. UPDATE: Rays finalizing deal to get SS Hechavarria for 2 minor-leaguers

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 4:27: In making the deal, the Rays add an elite-level defender to an infield that could use the help. But it also raises a number of questions, such as will they now move Tim Beckham to 2B? Does this mean Matt Duffy is not coming back this season? Is Daniel Robertson or Taylor Featherston going to …

    Adeiny Hechavarria is a two-time Gold Glove finalist who could help settle the Rays sometimes leaky infield defense.