West Deptford girls' tennis received multiple postseason spots on Monday night as the NJSIAA released its playoff brackets. The team will kick off its postseason at home on Thursday, with a sixth-seed draw in the South Jersey Group 2 tennis tournament,
First singles player Marthalyn Johnson also will play in the state singles tournament at Mercer County Park on Saturday.
The Eagles, who have a record of 7-5 after a tight loss to Gateway High School on Monday, will host Willingboro in the first round of the playoffs. The first-round match will be played on Thursday, with the quarterfinals and semifinals to follow next week.
Willingboro has a record of just 4-7 as they enter the postseason. The two schools are not familiar with each other, having come from different conferences. It will be the first time they have played each other in the past four years.
West Deptford hopes to improve on last year's performance in the postseason. Last season, the Eagles were eliminated in the first round by another Burlington County team, Pemberton. However, the team is more experienced and stronger entering the 2012 playoffs. They also benefit from being on the opposite side of the bracket from perennial favorite and No. 1-seeded Haddonfield.
The bracket for the NJSIAA singles tournament was also drawn on Monday and Marthalyn Johnson, West Deptford's No. 1 singles player, qualified for the tournament. She will be facing off against Livingston's Elaine Vernoff in the first round.
Johnson has a record of 7-5 entering play on Tuesday. Her record doesn't tell the full story, however, as four of her five losses came against two of the best players in the state, Collingswood's Sophy Siv and Haddonfield's Taylor Ng, who was the state singles champion in 2012.
Johnson, who has been much improved in her second year at first singles, has been key in pushing the Eagles to a winning record in 2012 and will have a chance to prove her talent against some of the top players in the state. Her first match is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. on Saturday. The first four rounds of the singles tournament will be played over the course of Saturday and Sunday.