Blythewood’s girls tennis team has qualified for the state playoffs for the third time in the four-year history of the program, but today’s match against Northwestern will be somewhat historic for the Bengals of coach Nick Hendrix.
It is the first-ever home playoff date for Blythewood in its first-ever Class 4A postseason outing. The Bengals earned the first-round home date after securing the Region 4-4A championship – another first for the still young program.
Blythewood went 10-0 in region play this fall, and brings an 11-1 overall record into the playoffs.
Top singles players Amanda Malatek and Lee Ferrell have been the team leaders all season. Malatek is 12-0 at No. 1 single, while Ferrell is 12-0 at No. 2 singles. The rest of the starting singles lineup features Alyssa Ursprung at No. 3, Taneshia Mickle at No. 4 and Mikaela King at No. 5.
“It has been a very successful season,” said Hendrix. “My top players have been undefeated while some of my younger player have gained their confidence over the course of the season. The playoffs will be a new and tough experience for my team. Every team you play will be a challenge and it requires confidence in yourself and your teammates.”
The Bengals will be out to achieve another first on Tuesday – a first-ever playoff win. Blythewood lost in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs to A.C. Flora in 2005 and J.L. Mann last season.