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Spartans face challenges of higher class
by Greg Oshust
March 26, 2013 03:41 PM | 1832 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Nathan Self<br>North Springs’ Elliott Salzberg returns a serve during the Spartans’ match with Northview Thursday.
Staff / Nathan Self
North Springs’ Elliott Salzberg returns a serve during the Spartans’ match with Northview Thursday.
North Springs nearly made it to the top of the mountain in Class AAA boys’ state tennis in 2012, when it lost to Woodward 3-0 in the championship match.

The climb is a lot steeper for the Spartans as they move up a couple of classifications to AAAAA for the ’13 season.

Playing in a competitive Region 7AAAAA is a big challenge for North Springs, which is facing perennial state playoff teams Pope, Northview, Sprayberry and Kell in its new league.

The Spartans have held their own in the early part of the season, however, with a 7-2 overall record and 5-2 mark in 7AAAAA as of last Friday.

“I think we’ve done pretty well so far,” North Springs coach Lisa Myers said. “I think we’re uniformingly pretty strong. We don’t have the superstar person who’s going to go to a top college, but we’ve got strong year-round players.”

While North Springs lost last season’s No. 1 singles player, Aaron Capitel— who signed to play tennis with George Mason — the Spartans do return most of their players from the AAA runner-up squad of a year ago.

However, as the Spartans face a tougher level of competition in AAAAA, Myers acknowledges the challenge of repeating its state second-place performance in its new classification.

“We have prepared the kids, saying we’re going to be in a much tougher region and we’re not going to be No. 1 in the region,” Myers said. “What we’re going to try to do is win as many games as we can and see if we can get an upset on any given day.

“We didn’t lose that many players, which is a strength. If we had been in our old region, we would no doubt be in the hunt in that region. But, you get put in a tougher region and things change.”

With inclement weather wreaking havoc on its early schedule, North Springs had to fit in some makeup matches against 7AAAAA opponents and played three consecutive days as a result.

The Spartans lost to Cambridge 5-0 last Tuesday, then bounced back to beat Creekview 3-2 last Wednesday before losing to Northview 5-0.

“It’s tough to play three or four days in a row,” Myers said. “But, it’s the rainy season and you have to get your region matches in. The kids rose to the occasion. It’s a matter of mental toughness.”

Junior Jordan George has stepped up to replace Capitel at No. 1 singles, while junior Elliott Salzberg and sophomore Langston Michael play the second and third singles positions.

Junior Justin Fleischmann teams up with junior Andrew Stein and sophomore Nick Redd at No. 1 doubles.

The second doubles squad is shared by juniors Nick Leffler and Evan Rosenthal, sophomore Solomon Watkins and freshman Andreas Redd.

Will North Springs earn a spot in the Class AAAAA state boys' tennis playoffs?

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