by Scott Springer, Adam Baum, Nick Robbe Community Press Staff/File Photo
SHARONVILLE - The bad news for Cincinnati - and the rest of the state, really - is that Princeton tennis standout Emily Thomas is only a junior. That means she has two full seasons left of high school tennis.
That's bad news because last season Thomas went undefeated and won a Division I state singles championship. She was the Greater Miami Conference player of the year and she only lost one set all season.
A few months ago, Thomas received her All-American certificate. That won't be the only major change for her this season. First, her father, Mike Thomas, is no longer her head coach at Princeton. He decided to step down and was replaced by former Fairfield coach Mike Morgan.
Morgan said of Thomas, "It's her drive and intensity to get better. Let me say, she works hard, she knows where she wants to go and is doing everything she needs to get there."
But there's more. Thomas' younger sister, Ashley, is a freshman and she'll be playing at second singles right behind her sister. Morgan said Ashley's no slouch either, "she's a good little player."
The Vikings will also benefit from Danillia Powell and Julia Kufeldt, both of whom are competing for the third singles spot. Savannah Huber, Elizabeth Gandert, Nancy Bartolon, Yosmara Bartolon and Rayanna Floyd are all competing for the remaining spots.
Morgan said having Emily and Ashley in the lineup has increased the level of competition.
"It's picked up the pace of the other players with Emily at No. 1 returning for the next two years, they're gonna play together for the next two years and in some cases three years," he said. "It's increased the competition level where girls are pushing to get better and make the team better."
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