Barnegat Leader

Top Players Off to Hot Start for Barnegat Girls Tennis

Sep 21, 2018

This is Sue Rogers’ 26th year as a high school girls tennis team head coach, so she’s seen plenty of players graduate and has had to deal with the inevitable rebuilding process numerous times.

In 2016 she faced what she called a “true rebuilding year” at Barnegat, yet her team finished 9-12. She expected improvement in 2017, thanks to most of her girls having some experience, and she got it, with her squad compiling a 14-7 record.

Alas, Rogers lost Kelly and Amber Kantenwein, the twins who had served as her 2017 team’s first and second singles players, to graduation last June. Also gone – her second doubles pair. In fact, she has only one senior, Neena Singh, on this year’s roster. But in her preseason analysis of her 2018 squad she didn’t again claim “true rebuilding” status. Instead, she said, “We have two key singles players back, so our outlook looks good.”

Junior Madison Linton is a big reason Rogers was optimistic when looking forward to this season. Linton racked up an 18-3 record at third singles as a sophomore and will fill the team’s first singles slot in 2018. The other player the coach referred to is junior Lily Spagnola, who played first doubles last year but is moving up to second singles for this campaign.

As of Sept. 17 Barnegat had a 4-3 record and sure enough, Linton and Spagnola had proven worthy of Rogers’ confidence. The former has gone 5-2 while the latter has played at a 6-1 rate. And even when Barnegat’s top two girls lost they went out kicking and screaming. Linton, for example, played three tough sets against Cristina Merone of perpetual B South powerhouse Donovan Catholic, finally falling 7-5, 5-7, 6-7 while Spagnola’s only loss was to DC’s Mara Stapleton, 5-7, 4-6.

Haley Jencik, a junior and a newcomer to the varsity, is Barnegat’s third singles player this season. The first doubles combo consists of the aforementioned senior Singh and junior Alianna Aguiar, while the second doubles duo is made up of junior Kiara Montanez and sophomore Maya Quinn.

The roster is filled out by juniors Michelle Cheng and Jasmine Reid and sophomore Paige Menegus. —R.M.


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