Banks freshman Chloe Smith leads Lady Leopards to region title, earns POW award

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Coach Jim McKinney’s Lady Leopards just won their first region title since 2012, and in turn advanced to the state tournament for the second straight season and fifth time in the last six years.

You’d imagine that a team that is now 15-2 overall on the season would be led on the court by a senior. However, it’s Banks County freshman Chloe Smith that’s taken the local tennis scene by storm.

Chloe Smith - Banks

Playing all but one match this season at #1 singles, Smith has forged a 13-4 record, going a near-flawless 7-1 in region play.

“As a freshman, she has shown exceptional poise and maturity,” says McKinney. “She’s great to coach and does everything I ask of her. She is followed by a great group of girls who all had a very good season leading up to the 15-2 record. I couldn’t be more happy for them or proud of their accomplishments.”

Due to Smith’s play, especially in the region tournament, she is named BLITZ Player of the Week, a rarity for freshman (four freshman this year have been named POW, 16 all-time).

Banks County cruised past Elbert 3-0, not dropping a set on any line to claim the region title.

STAT LINES:
1 Singles: FR Chloe Smith v Anna Kubas 6-2, 4-1
2 Singles: SR Amelia Lyons v April Roach 6-3, 6-3
3 Singles: FR Jaden Hoard Did not get to play; well played two points
1 Doubles: SO Jill Martinet/Mikayla Beckett 6-0,6-4 v Carolin Wallis/Rylee Smith
2 Doubles: SR Emily Morris/Lauren Collins 6-3,6-1 v Zekeria Smith/?
For the girls, it’s just a matter of what kind of state tournament run they want to make. The 7-6 team from last year went to the Sweet 16, as did the 2012 group. This season has produced a record number of wins, and could see the girls advance to the quarterfinals and further for the first time in school history.
McKinney has been aided in this historic season by coach Heather Martin.

 

Jacky Jones 2018

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