South Mecklenburg freshman Jenna Thompson started her high school career with great expectations as the No. 1 player in the state in both the 14 and 16-year old age groups in the USTA junior rankings.
Thompson, who doesn’t turn 15 until December 16, went 23-0 in singles play, proving her rankings legitimate, and won the N.C. 4A state championship. She is the 2016 Charlotte Observer girls tennis player of the year.
Thompson also won the SoMeck8 singles’ title and the 4A West Regional championship.
She didn’t even lose a set in singles’ play all season.
Myers Park tennis coach Ed Flynn is the Charlotte Observer girls’ tennis coach of the year, after leading his Mustangs to a 21-0 season and 4A state championship, beating Green Hope 5-4 in the final.
Myers Park was 16-0 going into the 4A state final each of the past two years, before losing Panther Creek.
But this year, the Mustangs were dominant, winning 161 of the 171 matches they played.
Marvin Ridge coach, Julie van Olden (two straight 3A), Lake Norman Charter coach, Jenny Connell (three straight 2A), Rock Hill coach, Scott Neely (S.C. AAAAA) also led their teams to unbeaten records and state championships in their respective classes.
Charlotte Country Day’s Calvin Davis led the Bucs (17-1) to a 4th straight, NCISAA 3A state title.
2016 All Charlotte Observer girls tennis team
FIRST TEAM SINGLES
Jenna Thompson, South Mecklenburg, Fr.: 4A state singles’ champion was unbeaten in singles’ play and didn’t even drop a set as a freshman.
Lauren Gish, Lake Norman, Sr.: Vanderbilt signee was 22-2 in singles’ play, finishing as 4A state singles’ runner-up. The North Piedmont conference champion was 111-12 in her Wildcat singles’ career.
Kate Earnhardt, Concord, Jr. 3A state singles’ champion was undefeated at No. 1 for the Spiders, also winning the South Piedmont conference and 3A Midwest Regional titles.
Olivia Archer, Lake Norman Charter, Jr.: 2A state singles’ champion was dominant all season, as she didn’t drop a set singles play. She also won the 2A West Regional and Big South conference singles’ crowns, while helping her team to a third straight, 2A state championship.
Marisa Deininger, Community School of Davidson, Sr.: Finished her Spartan career with a second straight NCHSAA 1A state singles’ title. She did not lose a set; also 1A West, SPC 1A singles’ champion.
Rachel Marthinsen, Charlotte Catholic, Sr.: SoMeck8 conference, 4A West Regional singles’ runner-up was 4A state quarterfinalist and led team to 4A state semifinals, too.
Maddie Weber, Myers Park, Sr.: Southwestern 4A singles’ champion and conference player of the year was a 4A West Regional semifinalist, state quarterfinalist; MVP of the 4A state (team) championship.
Rachel Carroll, Charlotte Country Day, Sr.: Bucs’ all-state No. 1 player helped lead her team to a fourth straight NCISAA 3A state championship.
Sarah Merrill, Weddington, So.: 3A Midwest Regional singles’ runner-up, 3A state quarterfinalist was also Southern Carolinas’ conference player of the year, 26-3 (singles) in the last two years.
FIRST TEAM DOUBLES
Megan Leonard, Sr./Rose Kenny, Fr., Charlotte Catholic: Cougars’ duo were paired together for the first time late in the season, and went on a magical run, winning the SoMeck8 conference and 4A West Regionals, before finishing as 4A state runner-up.
Leah Wallihan, Jr./Serena Evans, Fr., Myers Park: Mustang duo was SW4A conference champions, 4A West Regional runners-up; came back from 6-2 deficit to win eight straight games to clinch the 4A state (team) championship for the Mustangs in deciding match.
Molly Handler, Fr./Maya Hayes, Fr., Concord: The Spiders’ freshman duo impressed winning the South Piedmont conference (SPC) title and 4A West Regional title in doubles, also 3A state semifinalist (17-2 on the season together).
Sophie Imhof, Fr./Ainsley Zubrinsky, So., Marvin Ridge: Maverick duo won SCC doubles’ title; were 3A Midwest Regional runners-up and 3A state semifinalists.
Ella Imhof, So./Rachel Zubrinsky, Sr., Marvin Ridge: Another Maverick sister duo was unbeaten in doubles’ play when they played together, also major factor in Marvin Ridge’s unbeaten run to a second straight 3A state title.
Lauren Bush, Jr./Lauren Loveless, Sr., Lake Norman Charter: The Laurens won the Big South conference doubles’ title, finishing as 2A West and 2A state runner-ups with 21-2 record on the season; helped lead the Knights to their third straight 2A state championship.SECOND TEAM SINGLES
Zoe Panizza, Lake Norman Charter, So.
Kylie Barnes, SouthLake Christian, Sr..
Katie Weber, Charlotte Country Day, Fr.
Kaley Williford, Central Academy, Sr.
Anna Daniels, Covenant Day, So.
Emerson Crichton, Lincoln Charter, Fr.
Jordan Besh, Cannon School, Jr.
Martha Elizabeth Watson, Charlotte Latin, Jr.
SECOND TEAM DOUBLES
Robin Alston, Fr./Anna Sharp, Jr., Rock Hill.
Emily Holderness, So./Katie Soden, Sr., Myers Park.
Kendall Addison, Jr./Sally Sasz, Sr, Charlotte Country Day.
Caroline Kurani, Sr./Addison Heintze, Sr. Providence Day.