Sophomore Jenna Wagner admits she didn't have high expectations of Hough's first-year girls' tennis team.
As a new school, the Charlotte Catholic transfer thought the team would struggle this year. But that was not to be the case.
"The team has done really well," said Wagner of her 8-3 Huskies. "We've really connected. It's a good group of girls, everyone's really nice to each other. We're a real team."
Tennis coach Julie Fox said she was impressed with her team and how the girls, which came from seven different schools, bonded, especially since nobody would have blamed them if they had a losing season.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
"They had that padding of, 'it's ok, it's your first year, you can do bad,' but they didn't need that," said Fox. "I couldn't believe how strong we were immediately."
Wagner said the team's confidence also had a lot to do with the Huskies' success.
"We're aggressive and want to win," said the 16-year-old. "We all want to be the best."
Fox said Wagner, who finished the regular season with an 11-1 singles record, also had a lot to do with how Hough did this year, as she was the most consistent player on her team.
"Each girl when they play counts as one point for the team. She was always a consistent point," said Fox. "In each and every single match, I could count on her to win."
Wagner, who has been playing tennis since she was in fifth grade, said the hard work she's put into become a reliable player comes from her competitive drive.
"I don't like to lose," she said. "I enjoy that satisfaction you get from winning."
Fox attributed her No. 4 player's success to her athleticism and her mindset on the court.
"She moves her feet really well," said Fox. "She doesn't give up, she's quick to the ball and she stays confident in her play. That's important, because tennis is like 90 percent mental."
Wagner's success is even more impressing, considering that she has been playing two sports this fall, as she has also been practicing and playing with her North Meck Soccer Club team.
Wagner started the season low on the 12-player depth chart, but worked her way up to the No. 4 position as the season progressed.
'She rose up the ladder," said Fox. "I was very impressed with her."
But Wagner wasn't the only notable player on the team.
The team's No. 1 player, Brianna Bodner, was 8-6 going against some tough competition and finished the season by being crowned conference champion in last week's I-Meck tournament.
Former Catholic player Morgan Marin, the Huskies' No. 2 player, also did well at the conference tournament after a 9-6 season.
Bodner, Marin and two doubles pairs, including Wagner's with Courtney Wakeman, will play at the regional tournament starting Friday.
As the entire team returns next season, Wagner has big goals for Hough.
But the Cornelius resident isn't too worried about moving up in the team.
"I just want to do well during the season, I don't care what my spot is as long as I'm playing," said Wagner.