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Can Kellam slow the Cox juggernaut?

Coastal Conference girls tennis saved its best for last.

Cox and Kellam, two of the three undefeated teams remaining in South Hampton Roads (Nansemond River) will meet for league supremacy in the regular season finale Wednesday at Kellam in a match that features everything from A (Kellam's Amanda Yermal) to Z (Cox's Zoe Fraser).

In fact, the Yermal-Fraser showdown would be enough to sell tickets if it was the only match on the card. Most observers - at least the ones we tracked down - believe these are the two best public school players in South Hampton Roads. But which one's No. 1? Our sources were hesitant to pick a side. Even Fraser, while expressing confidence, fully understands the caliber of player she's up against.

"We've had tough matches in the past and it'll definitely be a tough match again," Fraser said.

Another compelling pairing will come at No. 2 singles where Cox's Olivia McNulty tangles with Kellam's Madison Boone.

In short, …
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Are you playing for a Top-10 team (boys edition)

A couple of days ago we ranked the top girls tennis teams in South Hampton Roads. Now, it's the boys turn. Feel free to tear it apart.

By the way, we derive our information in large part from scores reported by coaches - and/or their significant others - on our Facebook page Game, Set, Match HR.  So make sure you let us know how your team did after every match. We can't do this without you.

1. Norfolk Academy
    - Two 5-4 losses to a fully-loaded Cape Henry squad are the only blemishes on the resume of the defending TCIS champion Bulldogs (12-2), who have otherwise run through a gauntlet of area and state powers - E.C. Glass, Collegiate (Richmond), Jamestown, Potomac School, St. Christopher's, among others. It's pretty clear this is now the best team in this area. The real question - is this the best team in the state?

2. Landstown
     - A competitive 6-3 loss to Norfolk Academy in a preseason scrimmage was the first indication these Eagles are legit. The latest came…

Are you playing for a Top-10 team (girls edition)?

Now that we're into the business end of the girls tennis season, here's our first crack at ranking the top 10 teams in South Hampton Roads. As always, your critiques aren't just welcome, they're highly encouraged via Twitter, Facebook or at mytopspinlob@gmail.com

1. Cox
     - Surprise! A season-opening 5-4 victory over Granby suggested that the Falcons may not be quite as head-and-shoulders ahead of the field as in years past. We're also eager to see what happens on May 10 when Cox travels to Kellam. For now, though, let's just say that tabbing Cox the favorite in girls tennis is an extremely sturdy limb to be out on.

2. Nansemond River
     - The Warriors won their first match 8-1. They've won the next nine - against victims including Grassfield, Hickory and Great Bridge -by an emphatic 9-0. By now, everyone knows about No. 1 Erin Bonney, a two-time conference singles champion. But the fact is that, so far this season, the Warriors have been better than t…

Cox-Landstown battle highlights Monday's boys tennis sked

What's on tap for Monday in boys tennis (weather permitting, of course):

Cox at Landstown, 3:30 p.m.

The winner here not only seizes control of the Coastal Conference but also gets our vote for best public school team in South Hampton Roads. The Ryan Charles-Bryon Toner showdown at No. 1 is the headliner, but given the depth of both squads there are intriguing matchups throughout the card. For example, Landstown's Christian Basnight and Cox's Cameron Fraser, worthy No. 1 players at many schools, are projected to meet at No. 4 singles in this one. The Falcons (6-0) eked out a 5-4 victory over Ocean Lakes Wednesday in their first of six conference matches. A day later, the Eagles (5-0) noted one of the most impressive wins by any area team this season by ousting TCIS power Norfolk Collegiate 7-2. Our sense is that Cox has yet to produce its best tennis. The Falcons better do that today.

Elsewhere in the Coastal...

Bayside at Ocean Lakes, 3:30 p.m.
Tallwood at First Colonial…

Monday's girls tennis schedule (April 24)

Monday's lineup of girls tennis matches (with rankings where applicable):
Coastal Conference
No. 9 Ocean Lakes at Bayside, 3:30 p.m. No. 4 First Colonial at Tallwood, 3:30 p.m. Landstown at No. 1 Cox, 3:30 p.m.
Atlantic Conference
No. 5 Princess Anne at Norview, 3:30 p.m. Salem at Green Run, 3:30 p.m. Indian River at Kempsville, 3:30 p.m. Maury at No. 6 Hickory, 5:30 p.m.
Non-conference
Deep Creek vs. Booker T. Washington at Northside Park, 5 p.m.
Girls tennis team rankings

Match report: Princess Anne girls 8, Maury 1

It's about time we got out to a girls match, right?

Princess Anne 8, Maury 1
The two-time defending Atlantic Conference champion Cavaliers took their first step toward consecutive title No. 3 Wednesday with a comprehensive performance against the solid Commodores in their league opener.

(Wo)man of the match
Michelle Yue, Princess Anne
Typically the queen of the three set match - Maury coach Steli Lascara said Yue had gone the distance in each of her previous matches this season - the sophomore punched out early for a change Wednesday with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Zoe McMorris at No. 3 singles.

"I think I had more motivation to win in straight sets today," Yue said. "My placement was better, and I had more confidence in my shots. Confidence is a big thing with me."

Best against best
We only got about half of the closely contested heavyweight showdown were anticipating at No. 1 singles as Maury's Alissa Anderson and Princess Anne's Amy Liao - two players in o…

Match report - Norfolk Collegiate 8, Maury 1

Remarkably, these teams weren't originally scheduled to play this season. Credit Norfolk Collegiate coach James Moskowitz and Maury's Janita Burgess Hess for having the good sense to pair up these traditional Norfolk rivals and have at it. Can't imagine why this match isn't on the schedule every year.

Norfolk Collegiate 8, Maury 1
Don;t let the team score mislead you as the Commodores, easily a Top-5 public school team in this area, were competitive in virtually all the matches. But Norfolk Collegiate has been playing tough competition all season and were ready for this kind of challenge. The Commodores, meanwhile, barely needed to take off their warmups in winning their first six matches and were coming off spring break. In other words, the Oaks had a huge edge in match toughness, and it showed as they had the right answers everywhere except at No. 3 singles, where Maury's Ethan Willingham outdueled Trafton Addison 7-5, 6-3.

Man of the match - Dan Duan, Norfolk Coll…