Lakeside tennis standouts looking for more state hardware

Wednesday, July 23, 2013

MARTINEZ, Ga. (WRDW) -- It was a remarkable year for tennis in the area with a few state championship teams. The ladies from Lakeside one of them. For some of them, they'll be gunning for a club championship this weekend in Macon.

For Kayla Hergott and Taylor Richards, tennis has been in their blood since they were little kids. It's hard to believe they are only ones in their family playing the sport.

"I was like seven, but I didn't start playing tournaments 'til I was like eight or nine," said Richards.

"I was like 10 and it was just because I had quit every other sport," said Hergott.

No quitting now as Hergott has found her calling. She was the number one player for Lakeside and likes the individual side of the sport.

"I guess because it's fun to like compete and it's all on your own and you can improve on your own and it's just all on you to like succeed and you can win matches and tournaments and it's just how much you can improve," Hergott said.

It's a love-hate relationship for Richards.

"Sometimes I like it, sometimes I hate it because it's hard because if you're losing, it's all up to you and you can't talk to your coach," added Richards.

This weekend they'll be in Macon, part of the Petersburg Racquet Club team that's gunning for a second straight junior state title.

"I like the teams better because it's more fun and you get to cheer your teammates on and they pump you up," said Richards.

And if you're looking for dedicated athletes, you found them. Pretty much every day, a couple of hours a day, they're out here hitting balls and getting better.

"This club has made me exactly the player I am today. It's everything. I wouldn't be playing tennis at all if it wasn't for Petersburg," said Hergott.

Talk about a talented team. Besides Hergott and Richards, their Lakeside teammate Annelisesse Leahy is on the club team along with Augusta Prep's Brooke Stevens -- she's already won three individual titles in GISA play.

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