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Southfield-Lathrup tennis brings strong singles mix

By: Christian Davis | Southfield Sun | Published April 25, 2012

 Southfield-Lathrup senior Ambra Parish plays No. 1 singles and does a great job of anticipating and taking calculating shots, according to her coach.

Southfield-Lathrup senior Ambra Parish plays No. 1 singles and does a great job of anticipating and taking calculating shots, according to her coach.

Photo by David Schreiber

LATHRUP VILLAGE — Southfield-Lathrup tennis coach Velma Smith lamented not bringing her camcorder when the Chargers welcomed Lake Orion High April 18.

The reason she wanted to bring it was to record her singles players, a squad that she says is the best she’s had in her six years leading the program.

“If I could get the rest of the girls to emulate them, I’d have a smashing team, because they have some real talent,” Smith said.

Senior Ambra Parish leads the way at No. 1 singles, with freshman Camara Porter at No. 2, junior Maeva Doh at No. 3, and senior Meita Porter playing No. 4.

“They all have different styles, but they do very well,” Smith said.

Smith said Parish is very calculating on the court, anticipating each shot and showing patience.

Camara Porter and Doh are similar to each other, as the duo likes to rip every shot and use their athleticism to wear down opponents.

Smith added that Meita Porter can be unconventional at times and makes a habit of reaching shots that surprises everyone watching.

The Chargers were 1-1 overall and in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division at press time. Lathrup finished tied for fourth last season.

“I think we’re coming together just fine,” Parish said. “We have some strong players this year, probably the strongest we’ve had in a while. I love my singles team, and we’re just going to hold it down for the rest of the year.”

As for doubles, Smith said it takes extra time for that unit to reach its full potential.

“A lot of them have natural abilities and talents, it just needs to be honed,” the coach said. “I think the problem with doubles is that if you don’t come out with your partner, it’s hard to congeal as a team. It’s difficult to learn your partner if you just come to practice.

“They do enjoy the sport, and that’s half the battle.”

Catch the Chargers against rival Southfield High at 4:30 p.m. April 26 at home.