Nick Bollettieri, left, and Dennis Afanasev

Dennis Afanasev, right, who grew up on the Peninsula, poses with legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri after winning the Nick Bollettieri Discovery Open's boys 15-and-under crown at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. (IMG ACADEMY/COURTESY OF ANDREI AFANASEV / June 16, 2013)

Perhaps overshadowed by the Menchville High boys' historic season was the Warwick girls' excellence in going unbeaten through the Peninsula District.

While Menchville won every individual match -- all 81 of them -- in the PD, the Raiders were dominant too.

While considered in the preseason as a potential contender, Warwick became far more than that. The Raiders weren't threatened in their first eight matches, setting up a matchup of PD unbeatens at Gloucester for the district championship.

With the bottom of their lineup excelling, Warwick won 6-3 to finish a 9-0 district schedule. The Eastern Region quarterfinal rotation set up the Peninsula against the Eastern District, giving the Raiders an excellent opportunity to advance.

Facing Eastern District runner-up Granby, Warwick played its usually steady game and earned a 5-2 victory. From lines 3-6, Casey Williams, Meg Lenz, Katie Goodrich and Ellary Gantan registered singles triumphs.

That got the Raiders to the semifinals, where they finally were overmatched by a strong Cox team, losing 5-0 at Huntington Park to Falcons such as Eastern Region singles champion Olivia Large.

"This is the first time we've had so much depth," Warwick coach Adrienne Rylander said of the 10-1 Raiders. "Everybody can hold that spot.

"We don't have a lot of big talent, but the heart that we've expressed, that's all we can ask for. Menchville's had that depth forever."

Though she occasionally lost at No. 1, including in those three matches, a leader of this group was senior Katlyn Yarborough, a third-year Raider. She now will move on to Christopher Newport University, and while she won't be on its varsity team, her speed and consistency could make her an excellent addition to the club lineup.

 "It's clear that we don't have any famous player, but we make our reputation by the way that we play," Yarborough said. "There were plenty of matches where people assumed that we were not going to win. Now that people see what we can do, ... it was a lot of fun."

Yarborough cited Williams as an example.

"Our No. 3 Casey, she had so much heart," she said. "That was the best present, just to see our team come together."

At CNU, "I am planning on taking pre-law. I plan to become a lawyer. I hope my competition goes on both courts."

New at Hampton Tennis Center

A true prize for tennis players in the area -- public clay courts -- is back in business on Woodland Road.

Clinics, lessons and leagues are among the features at Hampton Tennis Center, located in the same complex as the Woodlands golf course, near Hampton University.

HTC needed a new director of tennis after the retirement of local tennis legend Perk Crain and then CNU's hiring last summer of Eric Christiansen as its director (head coach) of men's and women's tennis.

Former Captains starter Thomas Onoff, who has been a solid local 4.5-rated player for years except when injuries forced him to stay off the court, took the job.

He then hired head pro Jennifer Itonyo, whose duties included running this weekend's one-day junior tournament.

Itonyo, 31, was born in Port-Harcourt, Nigeria. She moved to the United States in 1997 and went to Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School in the Boston area.

She first played collegiately for Massachusetts, then transferred to Norfolk State, from where she graduated in 2006. She earned All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference honors with the Spartans and has participated in numerous local tournaments since then.

 As for Onoff, if you get a racket strung by him, you will join a club that features such stars a decade ago as Marat Safin.