After a year off, Devin Napier is back on the tennis courts.
The Garrard County junior said she missed playing last season, and made it a priority to get back out for the team this spring.
“I really enjoyed it my freshman season,” she said. “It’s not very stressful. It’s kind of your own thing and it’s kind of something fun to do in your offseason.”
Napier, a starting forward on the Garrard basketball team, said she sat out last tennis season for a couple of reason. One was to focus more time on basketball. Also, she wasn’t driving yet and her parents could not always get her to practice and matches.
But now that she’s driving, she’s learning to juggle the two sports. She also plays AAU basketball on a team coached by Todd Murray, but has committed to the tennis team this spring.
“It kind of makes you choose between two things you like to do, but this is my first obligation,” she said of tennis. “And basketball will come next. When summer comes, this will be over and I can do strictly basketball.”
On Thursday, Napier and her partner, Samantha Tuggle, fell to the No. 1 doubles Danville team of Hannah Frankel and Meredith Frankel in the Admirals’ 4-1 win.
As far as wins, Napier said she did not have really high expectations. She’s just trying to get better.
“I want to get better at singles because my freshman year I wasn’t very good at singles,” she said. “I’m pretty good at doubles, but not so much singles.”
Of course, basketball is always on her mind. Even when she’s playing tennis, she always fearing she might get injured.
“The only thing that worries me is getting hurt, turning an ankle or something,” she said.
Which would not be good for a Garrard County basketball team that returns most of its top players and expects to be a contender in the 12th Region Tournament next season
“We expect to be pretty good, probably better than last year,” she said. “And top in the (45th) district, we expect that too. But it should be interesting because Lincoln County has a lot of good players back. And Danville will too.”
Napier averaged 10.6 points and 9.2 rebounds with 43 steals last season, and got a chance to play in the 12th Region-13th Region Junior All-Star Game, which she called a great experience.
“You’re used to playing against these girls, then you get to play with them. And you’re like, ‘Well, I don’t really like them because we have to play against them,’” she said. “But then you find out they’re really nice and you come to like them and you make friends.”
Garrard’s Emily Major beat Jodi Gay in straight sets at No. 1 singles, but Danville won the next four matches.
Mey Mey Kong and Fariha Siddiqui posted singles wins, and the No. 2 duo of Abby Zaman and Grace Caudill closed out the match with a win for Danville.
At Danville (D) 4,
Garrard County (GC) 1
No. 1 — Emily Major (GC) def. Jodi Gay 6-1, 6-2; No. 2 — Mey Mey Kong (D) def. Maria Moss (GC) 6-4, 6-3; No. 3 — Fariha Siddiqui (D) def., Charity Browning (GC) 6-1, 6-1.
No. 1 — Meredith Frankel-Hannah Frankel (D) def. Samantha Tuggle-Devin Napier (GC) 7-6 (10-5), 6-0; No. 2 — Abby Zaman-Grace Caudill (D) def. Kelsey Arnold-Harley Walker (GC) 6-4, 6-4.