By Andi Hayes
Last night, the Lady Knights kicked off their tennis season with a win of 5-2 vs. St. Viator. This was intended to be the second match of the season since the girls’ first scheduled match on Tuesday Aug. 27th was cancelled due to a temperature of 104 degrees outside on the tennis courts.
Head coach Mike McCoulagh believes the girls played confidently going into the season, having three out of the four players who qualified for state tennis returning to the team this year.
“We’ve never had that many people who had that much individual success [return for another season],” McCoulagh said. “So as far as what might be a little different [this year] is that we have more girls with high expectations than previous years. The goal [for the team] is to work hard and to live up to those [goals].”
The three key returning players to the team this year are seniors Christina Santiago and Lauren Saiki and junior Alexandra Gorodiski.
These players will be filling the roles of second singles and first doubles this year, with many new players making the transition from junior varsity to varsity this year.
McCoulagh says the biggest part of making sure the girls are prepared for the transition to varsity is getting them acclimated to varsity expectations.
Another big part of uniting the team with new varsity players has been the team bonding the girls have shown through cheering and supporting each other during matches.
For now, the team’s focus is on doing well during their matches, but especially weekend tournaments, where the competition is scoped out during difficult matches.
“We’re in some really aggressive tournaments,” McCoulagh said. “We’ll see where we stand [with the MSL after we have competed in the tournaments].”
1st Singles: Natalie. Lysik (P) def M. Balas (STV) 6-1, 6-3
2nd Singles: S. Raslawski (STV) def Alexandra. Gorodiski (P) 6-1, 6-4
3rd Singles: Paige. Bennett (P) def C. Dempsey (STV) 6-1, 6-1
1st Doubles: Lauren. Saiki/Christina. Santiago (P) def B. Finis / N. Panarese (STV)_ 6-0, 6-4
2nd Doubles: Alex Wilson/Tori Bruno (P) def A. Ptacin / E. McManus (STV) 6-2, 7-5
3rd Doubles: Jelena Ivanisevic / Lauren Becherer (P) def L. Guske / L. Williams (STV) 6-2, 4-6, 6-2
4th Doubles: D. Divito / C. Richey (STV) def Zoey Groh / Rali Peroussanova (P) 6-0, 6-2
JV: Prospect-7 St. Viator-0