Two years ago, Ann Martin Skelly couldn't escape the outside courts at Porter-Gaud's on-campus tennis complex. No one was surprised. She was only a seventh-grader.

Skelly's tennis stock has soared since then. She's not only the top girls player on campus, she's the best in the area.

The Porter-Gaud freshman is The Post and Courier's 2013 Lowcountry player of the year after leading the Cyclones to a third straight SCISA Class AAA state final. She is joined on the All-Lowcountry first team by teammates Grace Robards and Carlyle Williams. Robards is a junior while Williams is a senior.

Also on the first team are seniors Kristen Farmer of Berkeley, and Liza Arruda and Caroline Yodice of Bishop England, along with eighth-grader Lauren Quinn. Skelly, Robards and Arruda are repeaters from 2012.

Bishop England's Kristin Fleming repeats as coach of the year after directing the Bishops to their third straight SCHSL Class AA state title.

At 14 years old, Skelly has traveled the world. But now she literally plays high school tennis in the shadows of her family's West Ashley home. "I've lived quite a few places," she admits.

"I was born in Roanoke, Va., lived in Moscow and in London. Then we moved here to downtown, then to behind the tennis courts."

It's not unusual to see Skelly's mother and father, Kelly and Martin, and the family dog make an impromptu arrival from behind the tennis courts to watch Porter-Gaud play matches at the Albemarle Road complex.

Skelly spends considerable time during holidays and summers at the family's Kiawah Island home. It was during one of the summers at Kiawah that she started taking tennis lessons from College of Charleston coach Angelo Anastopoulo at the age of 4. Anastopoulo still coaches Skelly.

Skelly played soccer, softball and basketball in elementary school, which wasn't that long ago. That changed in the seventh grade when she joined the tennis team. She landed a starting berth at No. 6 that year and played her matches on the outside courts where only parents generally watched. She won a match against Hilton Head Prep in the state final to help the Cyclones win the 2011 state championship.

It wasn't long before Skelly's left-handed game landed her on the main bank of courts, where she played No. 3 as an eighth-grader while making the All-Lowcountry team.

"I've been playing tennis a lot more than I used to. I work out harder," she said. "My goal is to play college tennis somewhere."

First-year Porter-Gaud head coach Charlotte Hartsock said Skelly has the talent and skills to achieve her goal."

"She works hard all year round and has developed an all-court game with no gaps. She can volley as well as play from the baseline. Her concentration and work ethic are going to take her a long way."

Reach James Beck at jamesbecktennis@gmail.com.

ALL-LOWCOUNTRY

First Team

Ann Martin Skelly, freshman, Porter-Gaud

Grace Robards, junior, Porter-Gaud

Carlyle Williams, senior, Porter-Gaud

Liza Arruda, senior, Bishop England

Caroline Yodice, senior, Bishop England

Lauren Quinn, eighth grade, Bishop England

Kristen Farmer, senior, Berkeley

Player of the Year: Ann Martin Skelly

Coach of the Year: Kristin Fleming, Bishop England

Second Team

Corey Caulder, junior, Palmetto Christian

Linsey Yarbrough, freshman, Ashley Hall

Katherine Lyman, seventh grade, Wando

Cameryn Deames, freshman, Bishop England

Gabrielle Dacuba, sophomore, Bishop England

Lexi Steichen, sophomore, Porter-Gaud

Madison McNeil, senior, Porter-Gaud

Honorable Mention

ASHLEY HALL: Gyles Laney, Ana-lei Kalawe, Tiffany Dye, McCrae Nistad

PINEWOOD PREP: Hayleigh Dodge, Sara Cochis, Sara Banks Tapp, Hannah Rodgers

WANDO: Emily Kuester, Alex Hickey, Foster Kirkpatrick

ASHLEY RIDGE: Bella Lawrence, Savanna Lawrence

BERKELEY: Elliott Huxford, Jill Funk

BISHOP ENGLAND: Hannah Simpson, Drue Ranson

STRATFORD: Chrisia Class, Anastasia Rivers

WEST ASHLEY: Alese Brown, Teresa Linker

ACADEMIC MAGNET: Mary-Geer Kirkland

CHARLESTON MATH AND SCIENCE: Nicole Brogan

COLLETON COUNTY: Megan Mitchell

COLLETON PREP: Shelly McDonald

GOOSE CREEK: Hayley Marchant

HANAHAN: Amelia McCulloch

HOLLY HILL ACADEMY: Christi O'Connell

JAMES ISLAND: Rhealyn Dinkins

PALMETTO CHRISTIAN: Katie Quinn

PORTER-GAUD: Rebecca Kahn

SUMMERVILLE: Caroline Green

WOODLAND: Courtney Simmons