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Spartans not one-hit wonders

For years, the bar was set at a reasonable height for the Lakewood girls tennis team.

"Every year we'd gear up and try to be a .500 team," coach Ron Kennedy said. "Our biggest worry was trying to go 7-8 or 8-7."

After the 2000 season, though, the bar was raised quite a few notches.

The Spartans were 12-4 in the Pinellas County Athletic Conference last season en route to their first-ever district championship. Halfway through the 2001 season, Lakewood is 8-1 with its only loss coming against Palm Harbor University.

The Spartans lead the South division of the PCAC, but they're sure to be tested Monday against powerful Countryside.

Lakewood's fortunes turned when Kaela Kennedy, the coach's daughter, entered school last year. Kennedy assumed the No.

1 position immediately and has become one of the top five public school players in the county.

But it takes more than just one player, and Lakewood has a good complement behind Kennedy. Sophomore Cori Sundstrom is the No.

2 player, taking over for the graduated Kristin Oliver. Kate Zaleski, who transferred from New York prior to the school year, moved into the No. 3 position.

Summer Potts moved up to No. 4 after playing No. 5 last season, and Jenny Borschel plays No. 5 after being a reserve in 2000.

Together, Lakewood is a team that could win its second consecutive district tournament.

"It's a good group," Ron Kennedy said.

"The main thing is they're having fun at it."