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Ravenwood girls tennis keeps changing but keeps winning


1:00 AM, Apr. 04, 2013 EDT
BRENTWOOD — 

Robbie McCammon is the fourth tennis coach in as many years for Ravenwood.

Turnover like that is usually a bad sign for an athletic program, but not so for the Lady Raptors.

Ravenwood is trying for its fourth straight Class AAA girls title after winning the 2010 championship under A.W. Speake, the 2011 title under Brad Herrera and last year's championship under Matthew Lacheta.

"It says a lot about the girls," McCammon said. "Having four coaches in four years is definitely unusual, so hopefully I'll be there for a little while and there will be a little more stability."

Speake died in August 2010 after collapsing on the school courts while teaching a clinic. Herrera has McCammon's old job -- coaching Brentwood Academy's boys. Lacheta is a Franklin assistant coach.

McCammon inherits a talented team with high expectations.

"Sure, there's definite pressure there," said McCammon, who coached at Brentwood Academy the past four years. "It's a good team, and they've done so well in the past that you just want to continue that success."

Ravenwood senior Tinsley Hastings has played for all four coaches.

"It is crazy," Hastings said. "A.W. -- he was such a great coach, and it was such a sad loss. I had known him for forever. But with every new coach we've all learned something new.

"I think it's always a change because you have to learn what they are expecting and what their coaching style is, but every coach that we've had has made a really smooth transition. And Robbie has done a great job of letting us know he's there for us, and he's been a great coach."

Ravenwood's success is similar to Riverdale in girls basketball, where the Lady Warriors have three state titles in the past four years under three coaches.

Chattanooga Christian is the last girls tennis team to win four in a row, accomplishing the feat in Class A/AA from 1999-2002.

"The consistency of players that they have coming through Ravenwood -- you don't see that too often," Independence coach Matt Balzer said. "It seems like they just keep reloading every year. The depth is amazing, and always on the top. It's pretty intimidating for some teams."

Ravenwood took a 4-0 record into Thursday's match against Independence.

The Lady Raptors lost last season's top player, Lauren Caballero, to graduation. She plays for Samford now, but Ravenwood got an influx of new talent.

Katie Fitt, a nationally ranked junior from Florida, leads the way at No. 1 singles. Freshmen Emily Wiseman and Angel Asirvatham have made an early impact.

"I think we'll do great, and end up going to state," Wiseman said.

 

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