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Ball bouncing Chapel Hill tennis’ way
by E. Marcel Pourtout
mpourtout@neighbornewspapers.com
March 26, 2014 11:15 AM | 925 views | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / E. Marcel Pourtout<br>From left, sisters Emily and Hannah Austin stand together during practice at the school in Douglasville last week.
Staff / E. Marcel Pourtout
From left, sisters Emily and Hannah Austin stand together during practice at the school in Douglasville last week.
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The Chapel Hill girls’ tennis team has returned to postseason form, winning five of its first seven matches this season. It looks primed to make a return to the state playoffs for the second consecutive season.

The Panthers’ success has been a team effort with a balanced roster of returning starters and newcomers to the program.

“The season has been going well and I knew that we would have a good team coming into this year but it’s been better than anticipated,” third-year head coach Lee Wilson said. “We returned some players from last season but had new additions that we weren’t sure about but they’ve done well.”

Sophomore Emily Austin has emerged as a top player, posting an undefeated mark in singles competition.

“Emily has been our most consistent player and is a real competitor who hates to lose and fights for every single point,” Wilson said.

Senior Hannah Austin has also become a top player for the Panthers along with her sister, primarily participating in doubles’ matches. Newcomer Kelly Chmiel arrived from New York and has made an immediate impact for Chapel Hill, playing in the top singles spot of the lineup.

“The season has been going pretty good and everyone has improved individually since the beginning of the year,” Hannah Austin said.

Wilson said, “This team may have the most mental toughness of any group I’ve ever coached. In our win over Callaway on March 13, three of the five matches came down to third-set tiebreakers. You have to be tough to win matches like that.”

The Panthers still have three regular season matches on their schedule and already are working towards improvements for the playoffs.

“We have to work on subtle techniques and very specific things for each individual player in practice to reform our game,” Wilson said.

Chapel Hill returns to action on Thursday against Haralson County.

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