Broncos: Plenty to Sing about

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 9, 2008

FRANKLIN—The sky is the limit for Jennifer Sing, a Franklin High School senior, who reached the state tennis tournament for the third straight year and is getting ready for horizons beyond this small community.

Sing made it to the finals of the Group A competition before dropping a 6-1, 6-1 match to Emerald Lauzon of John Battle High School in Bristol.

Sing will also compete in the Group A doubles championship with her partner, Carrie Webber, starting today at Radford University.

Sing won her first match Thursday against Rachel Coon of Buffalo Gap High School, the Region B champion. Sing and Webber,

face Region C’s

Maggie Jaronski and Caitie Weston from Radford High School.

Focus is the name of the game for Sing. In the Region A singles championship match, Sing knocked off Jessica Walker of Mathews High School with laser-like precision.

Sing led the match 3-2 in the first set, then went on to win the next nine games, frustrating Walker with deep baseline shots and setting her up like a bowling pin.

“She developed a topspin forehand last year toward the end of the season. She became more consistent in her serve and that has really helped her this year,” said Calvin Sing, Jenni’s father and the girls tennis coach at Franklin. “Russ Sholes at the Y has been her instructor for five or six years now. He is the one who has taught her everything about tennis strategy and she is putting it to use.”

Sing and Carrie Webber completed their regular season high school careers undefeated.

Sing is undefeated over four years of regular season play with a record of 54-0 and a post season record of 15-3.

Webber is undefeated in

three seasons of varsity play with a regular season record of 38-0 and a post season record of 3-2.

Sing admits she is a more focused player this year, even though she has already been to the state tournament twice. She has learned that tennis is a process, and not just hitting the ball over the net.

“I’ve definitely worked the past year on maintaining my focus and blocking out everything around me,” he said after the win over Walker. “I’m trying to move along the baseline more and use different strategies, drop shots or deep balls, or passing shots when they come to the net. Just different combinations.”

Sing is optimistic about her chances in the state tournament since the other three finalists from last year have graduated, but admits that Region A does not have the competition that other places in the state have.

“It’s definitely a completely different level of competition. The people around here are pretty good, but when you get to states, it’s nothing like what you’ve seen,” she noted. “They hit so much harder and their strategies are so much better. There is so much you have to adjust to when you have never seen it before.

“I have been hitting with a lot of people who use a lot of strategy and are hard hitters. I hope it pays off,” she added.

Sing may be as excited about what happens after the state tennis tournament and after graduation. She will enter the Virginia Military Institute this fall in the hopes of one day becoming a naval pilot. Her father said she had a conditional appointment to the Naval Academy, but could not get the Navy to give her a medical waiver, presumably for allergies. She also turned down a full scholarship at Winthrop University to enter VMI, which does have a club tennis program.

“I’m really excited about that. I’m hoping to go through the Naval ROTC there.

I’ve always wanted to be a pilot, ever since I can remember,” she said. “I thought the easiest way would be to go through the military. I kind of like the military lifestyle. It’s structured, which is something I want.”