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. Family a driving force for University of Tampa pitcher David Lebron

    College

    TAMPA — For University of Tampa junior pitcher David Lebron, baseball reminds him of family. He uses it to help honor the memory of his father, who taught him the game. One day, he hopes his career can help support his mother and allow her to rest.

    University of Tampa junior pitcher David Lebron (Courtesy of University of Tampa)
  2. L.A. delay could re-open Super Bowl chance for Tampa in 2021

    Blogs

    Construction delays on the NFL's new stadium in Los Angeles mean the Rams and Chargers won't be playing there until 2020, a year later than expected, and the ripple effect could give Tampa another chance at landing a Super Bowl in February 2021.

    Tampa and Raymond James Stadium last hosted a Super Bowl in 2009, when the Pittsburgh Steelers edged the Arizona Cardinals.
  3. Bucs' Gerald McCoy, Jameis Winston honored in NFL top 100

    Blogs

    Helping fans pass time through the offseason each summer, NFL Network has been unveiling its top 100 players for 2017 as chosen by the players, and the Bucs' Gerald McCoy and Jameis Winston are the first Tampa Bay players revealed, coming in at No. 52 and 57, respectively.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis WInston and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, shown in the 2016 season finale against the Panthers, have both been named to the NFL Network's top 100 players for 2017.
  4. The play occurred in the third inning when Angels rookie Nolan Fontana, making his major league debut, tried to slide past the tag of Rays second baseman Michael Martinez.
  5. Former Gator Caleb Brantley paying a steep price for nothing

    Bucs

    It turns out Caleb Brantley isn't quite the dirtbag that millions of people presumed. It's too bad the damage to his reputation and bank account is already done.

    Caleb Brantley, who dropped to the sixth round of the draft, works out during Browns rookie minicamp. [Associated Press]