The Lake Norman Charter girls’ tennis team was perfect this season, as the Knights went 17-0 on their march to the school’s first NCHSAA 2A state, dual tennis championship.
The Knights’ first-year coach, Jennifer Gomez, who previously guided the school’s middle school team, led the title run as her team beat the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics 5-2 in the state final at N.C. State’s Isenhour Tennis Center in Raleigh.
Gomez earns the Charlotte Observer girls’ tennis coach of the year honors for her efforts.
She led a team that qualified its top six players for the state individual tournament with Hannah and Olivia Archer as well as Lauren Bush and Lauren Loveless playing doubles. Charanya Uppalapati and Tiffany Onia played in the 1A state singles’ tournament.
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Charlotte Country Day’s Calvin Davis also impressed again, leading the Bucs’ girls to their second straight NCISAA 3A state championship.
Meanwhile, Lake Norman sophomore Lauren Gish was unbeaten in singles’ play for most of this season, not even losing a set until her 4A individual state quarterfinal match.
While Gish ultimately lost in the 4A state singles’ semifinals, she had a season to remember, winning the 4A West Regional singles and North Piedmont conference titles as well.
Gish is the Observer girls’ tennis player of the year.
Gish still has two more years in high school to add to her already impressive resume.
First Team All Observer
Lauren Gish, Lake Norman, So.: Wildcats’ all-state sophomore sensation was dominant and didn’t lose a set until the state tournament. She is a 4A state singles’ semifinalist, 4A West Regional and North Piedmont conference (NPC) singles’ champion.
Hailey Simon, Ardrey Kell, So.: Another standout sophomore was SoMeck8 singles’ champion, 4A West Regional runner-up and 4A state quarterfinalist.
Heidi Swope, Weddington, Sr.: 2013 3A state singles’ champion’s season was cut short because of a family illness that forced her to miss the second day of regional play. She was unbeaten this season and lost only once in singles during her high school career.
Sarah Jiang, Cox Mill, Jr.: Chargers all-state performer was a 3A state semifinalist, South Piedmont conference and regional champion.
Fleming Landau, Charlotte Latin, Fr.: Hawks No. 1 player, an all-state pick as a freshman, led Latin to state semifinals.
Avery Hunter, Charlotte Country Day, Jr.: Two-time all-state pick played a big role as No. 1 singles on Bucs’ team that won its second straight NCISAA 3A state championship.
Maddie Weber, Myers Park, So.: Mustangs No. 1 finished third at 4A West Regional, helped lead her team to a 16-1 record and 4A state runner-up finish.
McKinley Riley/Catie Nelson, Charlotte Catholic: 4A West Regional champions also made it to the 4A state quarterfinals.
Katie Soden/Gaby Soden, Myers Park: Sisters were at their best when it mattered most in the postseason, making it to the 4A state doubles semifinals to earn all-state honors. They finished third at 4A West Regionals.
Hannah Archer/Olivia Archer, Lake Norman Charter: Sisters won 2A state doubles’ title while leading the Knightsto a 2A state championship.
Marisa Deininger/Courtney Mudge, Community School of Davidson: After Mudge won the 1A state title over Deininger last year, the two Spartans teamed up to win a 1A state doubles’ title.
Second-Team All Observer
Gabby Moore, Hough, Jr.
Caroline Kurani, Providence Day, So.
Ishana Nigam, Charlotte Country Day, Jr.
Charanya Uppalapati, Lake Norman Charter, Fr.
Jacklyn Googins, Statesville Christian, Sr.
Kate Beckman, Cannon School, Sr.
Caroline Garrido, Gaston Day, Fr.
Rachel Marthinsen/Megan Leonard, Charlotte Catholic.
Meredith Emery/Hannah Scott, Marvin Ridge.
Lexi Yakoobian/Sierra Lunsford, Pine Lake Prep.
Haley Tan/Sullivan Higson, Providence.
Charlotte Observer Girls’ Tennis Player of the Year: Lauren Gish, Lake Norman
Charlotte Observer Girls’ Tennis Coach of the Year: Jennifer Gomez, Lake Norman Charter