ENGLEWOOD - Lemon Bay High tennis coach Darrell Roach says this is the best girls team he has had in 32 years. They made it to the state championships behind Jessica Lown and Linda Antonova. Together, they're our ABC 7 Athletes of the Week.
The pair has been the focal point for 4 years now. Antonova is the #1 singles player, Lown is the #2, and together they make the top doubles team.
"Linda went 13-4 n singles at #1, and Jessica went 13-1. Doubles, they went 11-2 together. So when you can get that many matches under your belt, knowing that those are going to come through for you, it really helps the whole team," says Coach Roach.
Antonova unfortunately fell ill the day before the state meet. She toughed it out, but she had high hopes for her senior season. "We have fun when we come out here. Even though we are focused, even though we have set our goals, we have fun -- individually, and as a team."
This pair has been phenomenal, and even though states didn't go as they planned, Lown wouldn't trade her high school years for the world. "You just have to be happy, and that is all the motivation you need. You just need to love what you do and you need to practice. If you love what you do, you are automatically going to practice."
They are not only winners on the court, they are winning in straight sets in the classroom as well. “They are both 3.9 and 4.1 GPAs in honors classes, so they lead not only in the tennis strokes, but also in the academics," says Roach.
Congratulations to Linda Antonova and Jessica Lown of Lemon Bay High School. They are our ABC 7 Athletes of the Week.