The North Gwinnett girls tennis team lost 3-0 in the semifinals of the GHSA AAAAAAA state playoffs Monday, May 9.
The team opened the playoffs with a 3-1 victory over Denmark. In the second round, the team secured a comfortable 3-0 win against Grayson High School.
For the Elite Eight round, the North Gwinnett girls went up against Lowndes and won a hard-fought 3-1 victory.
The end of the road came for the team in the Final Four round of the playoffs as the girls faced Walton High School, and the Marietta-based team came away with a 3-0 win over North Gwinnett.
Despite the loss, head coach Mike Corriveau had nothing but praise for the strength, commitment and teamwork of the North Gwinnett girls tennis team.
“From the outset, there was a collaborative spirit,” he said. “Our two captains, Cate Gemmell and Nicole Eigbedion, both seniors, fostered the team focus. All the players bought into the concept early, and it carried us throughout the entire season.”
Even though the team members only competed as singles or pairs, teamwork is still an important aspect of success in high school tennis.
“We had very good balance across both our singles and doubles formats,” Corriveau said. “It seemed that when the singles had a tough day, the doubles stepped up; when the doubles had tough matches, the singles stepped up.”
Making it as far as the semifinals of the state playoffs in a region as competitive as AAAAAAA also means that teams have to constantly adapt and improve to keep up, and the North Gwinnett girls were no exception.
“There wasn’t just one major thing that the athletes did to improve during the season; it was a series of attention to details,” Corriveau said. “A lot of fine-tuning.”
The fine-tuning clearly paid off as the team finished with an impressive season record of 19-3.
In addition to their tennis prowess, Corriveau also praised the members of his team for their excellent work off the court.
“As impressive as the on-court performance (was), each of our athletes are strong in academics,” he said. “For example, the colleges of our graduating seniors are Georgia Tech, Clemson, University of Miami (FL) and Kennesaw State. We are as proud of the off-court work as we are of the on-court successes.”