Ashland, Kentucky ( the Daily Independent): The past decade, the Nguyen family became synonymous with Russell High School tennis.
Ashley Nguyen , a senior, is the youngest of five well-rounded brothers and sisters to come through the program. On Wednesday, that realization hit home with Russell girls coach Larra Ferguson as Ashley signed a letter of intent to attend Shawnee State University.
“Ashley’s not only a hard-working player but she’s from a great tennis family,” Ferguson told the gathering in Russell’s library. “We were fortunate when they moved from Cincinnati to Ashland.”
Taylor, Chandler and Alex Nguyen contributed significantly to the success of Russell’s boys team while maintaining academic excellence. The same holds true on the girls side with Hunter and Ashley Nguyen.
“You don’t get a lot of tournament-level tennis players coming into your school,” Ferguson said. “They are all great kids, bright students and great tennis players. They have been an integral part of Russell tennis. It’s sad (now). We had them for nine years.”
Currently, Taylor is finishing up medical school at the University of Louisville. Hunter, Alex and Chandler all attend Kentucky.
Russell’s girls team enters the spring with a string of six region championships. Ashley Nguyen has been there from the start.
“She’s played in our top six for region since she started,” Ferguson said. “Ashley always worked hard and has done what’s asked of her. She doesn’t just play in-season.”
Nguyen will move into the No. 1 spot in Russell’s lineup for her final season. Teammate Mia Ferguson had surgery last month for a torn labrum.
“I will try to be a good leader,” said Nguyen, who feels thankful to have Ferguson as her coach.
“She’s always been family to me,” Nguyen said. “We’ve known her for a long time. If I didn’t have her as my coach, I really don’t know what I would do.”
Shawnee State coach Steve Boone attended the signing and is looking forward to Nguyen coming to Portsmouth.