Tuckerton Leader

Pinelands Girls Tennis Counts On Young Players to Step Up

Sep 01, 2017

A group of tennis players moving up from the junior varsity ranks hope to propel the Pinelands Regional High School varsity girls team to compete well in the Shore Conference B-South division.

Last year’s team was 8-11 overall, but 8-6 in conference play.

“This season, we are going to mainly be focusing on being fundamentally strong, mental stamina and cohesiveness,” said head coach Sarah Ervin, entering her seventh season with a 42-53 record.

“Unfortunately, we began the season without two returning starters from last season, so we are rebuilding as a very young team. Within the current season, we are lucky to have young players as first-year varsity players who are extremely eager to learn their positions and continually striving to improve skills/match play.

“We are optimistic for the upcoming season with visions of players’ stepping up to the challenge. We have hopes to continue last seasons’ outcome as a strong competitor in the conference. We look forward to the reaching our goals as players and a team this season,” Ervin added.

Returning starters include seniors Nicole Babcock and Samia Tariq, and juniors Nyah Acosta and Fallon Hutchinson.

Other team members include seniors Alexis Bruno and Kristen Bond; juniors Meghan Houchstuhl, Sarah Pomponio, Harley Castillo and Luann Cooper; and sophomores Britney Azzara, Sharon Torres, Michellina McDermott and Sydney Nelson.

A group of freshmen are also hoping for playing time: Brianna Medford, Courtney Burns, Carli King, Mackenzie Regan, Lauren Tatro and Zoe Tullo.

Ervin said the lineup of who is playing the singles and doubles matches has not yet been determined. She said teams to beat are Donovan Catholic, Manchester and Lacey, which is new to the division.

“By mid season, we hope we are holding a .500 record or more, and continually focusing on individual players’ needs for improvement to increase overall success as a team,” said Ervin. “Broadening the experience level of a player helps their knowledge of the game of tennis.”

The Wildcats open their season at Southern Regional High School on Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 3:45 p.m.

“We beat them last week in a scrimmage, so hopefully that’s a good sign,” the coach remarked.

— Eric Englund

ericenglund@thesandpaper.net

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