Tennis team mixes youth with experience

Nathan Ham Sports Writer

August 15, 2013

Ashe County has had a longstanding tradition of success from the women’s tennis program.

Head coach Larry Dix is hoping that this season will be more of the same as this year’s squad will feature a nice blend of experienced players and youth.

“We have 16 players this year, including four seniors and six freshmen,” said Coach Dix.

The Lady Huskies also return four of last season’s top six seeds in Kasey Curcio, Mary Austin Tugman, Hallie Brown and Maggie Witherspoon.

Those four, as well as a group of younger players, will be competing for the top two seeds, vacated by graduates Haley Maloney and Anna Wooten. Maloney and Wooten were 23-2 last season as a doubles team and made it to the 2A State Championship Tournament before falling in the first round of action.

Witherspoon and Brown both reached the 2A Midwest Regionals last season and were Mountain Valley All-Conference performers. Tugman was an MVAC Honorable Mention player.

The tennis team will begin the year at Watauga on Aug. 19. Ashe will have its first home match the next day against East Wilkes.

As always, teams want to close the regular season strong, and the Lady Huskies will have a great shot to do that with four of the final six games at home. Ashe has three straight home matches against North Wilkes (Sept. 17), West Wilkes (Sept. 19) and Alleghany (Sept. 24).

The team closes the regular season with home matches at Elkin and Starmount on Sept. 26 and Oct. 1 before the final home match at home versus Wilkes Central on Oct. 3.

Conference tournament play begins Oct. 8 and the state playoffs begin exactly one week later.