There isn’t much left for Ashley Hall’s Narni Summerall to accomplish in high school tennis now that she has won a second straight Post and Courier Lowcountry Player of the Year award for girls tennis.
FIRST TEAMNarni Summerall, Sr., Ashley HallAnnie Hay, Sr., Porter-GaudMollie Polk, Sr., Pinewood PrepRossi Anastopoulo, Sr., Ashley HallLiza Arruda, Jr., Bishop EnglandGrace Robards, Soph., Porter-GaudAnn Martin Skelly, 8th, Porter-GaudPlayer of Year: SummerallCoach of Year: Kristin Fleming, Bishop EnglandSECOND TEAMMeagan Evans, Sr., Pinewood PrepKelly McManus, Sr., Bishop EnglandCaroline Yodice, Jr., Bishop EnglandDakota Brown, Sr., Cane BayKristen Farmer, Jr., BerkeleyCorey Caulder, Soph., Palmetto ChristianLexi Steichen, Fresh., Porter-GaudHONORABLE MENTIONBISHOP ENGLAND: Hannah Simpson, Emma Schaafsma, Gabrielle Dacuba, Lauren Quinn. PINEWOOD PREP: Hayleigh Dodge, Shauna Fletcher, Mary Hunter Brown, Haley Foster. ASHLEY HALL: Morgan Schweers, Tiffany Dye, Gyles Laney, Skat Bailey. PALMETTO CHRISTIAN: Jess Helmus, Katie Quinn, Emma King. WANDO: Emily Kuester, Tyler Kirk, Alex Hickey. ASHLEY RIDGE: Ali Herrera, Maddie Kratzert. COLLETON PREP: Brittany Griffin, Taylor Hoff. HOLLY HILL ACADEMY: Hunter Paramore, Kristi O’Connell. PORTER-GAUD: Carlyle Williams, Madison McNeil. ACADEMIC MAGNET: Mary-Geer Kirkland. BERKELEY: Elliott Huxford. CHAS. MATH & SCIENCE: Nicole Brogan. COLLETON COUNTY: Kyla Floyd. FORT DORCHESTER: Maya Snype. GARRETT: Jedidah Glover. HANAHAN: Amelia McCulloch. JAMES ISLAND: Rhealyn Dinkins. STRATFORD: Chrisia Class. SUMMERVILLE: Caroline Green. WEST ASHLEY: Alaina Gilliard.
The award caps a brilliant career that saw the Dartmouth-bound star suffer only three singles losses in four years of high school tennis. Her only disappointment was that the Panthers failed for the second straight year to advance to the SCISA state final after being part of two state championship teams.
Summerall heads a group of four seniors on the first team that includes fellow three-time All-Lowcountry choice Annie Hay of Porter-Gaud as well as Pinewood Prep’s Mollie Polk and Ashley Hall’s Rossi Anastopoulo. Junior Liza Arruda of Bishop England, sophomore Grace Robards of Porter-Gaud and eighth-grader Ann Martin Skelly of Porter-Gaud round out the first team.
Kristin Fleming, who directed Bishop England to a second consecutive Class AA state title, is the coach of the year.
Summerall lifted her game to a whole new level as a senior. She dominated local tennis as well as SCISA Region III-AAA while going unbeaten in singles and wrapping up her career with the best overall record ever for Ashley Hall.
The 5-10 standout saw her game flourish with an elevated focus on training and drills under Creekside Tennis and Swim pro Or Dekel. Playing under veteran Ashley Hall coach Mary Gastley’s watchful eye, Summerall developed doubles skills that put her among an elite class of high school players and prepared her for possibly an outstanding collegiate career. Her powerful inside-out forehand is a serious doubles weapon.
“I had never been that strong in doubles, so I’ve concentrated on doubles more in the last year,” Summerall said. “I worked on doubles a lot with Or (Dekel) at Creekside this summer. I’m more of a singles player, but I am trying to be a doubles player now.”
She is excited about becoming a part of Dartmouth tennis. “Dartmouth has a perfect combination of tennis and academics,” she said. “Academics are the most important, but tennis is a big part of it for me. Dartmouth is very competitive in tennis. They tied with Yale for the Ivy League championship in 2011.”
Dartmouth coach Bob Dallis started recruiting Summerall at the end of her sophomore year and offered her a spot on the team last March, she said. Ivy League schools do not award athletic scholarships, but use a need-based system.
“I plan to play a lot of national and ITA tournaments to get ready for college,” she said.
Summerall was ranked No. 1 in the state for part of 2011 and was rated No. 58 in the nation in her recruiting class in September by TennisRecruiting.net.
“I’ll definitely miss Ashley Hall,” she said. “Coach Gastley has given tennis a dimension that I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else.”