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2017 Mercury-Area Girls Tennis Preview

BOYERTOWN

Head coach: Donna Laskosky, 17th season.

Last year’s record: 4-6 Pioneer Athletic Conference.

Players to watch: Julianna Glassner, Sr. doubles; Ivy Price, Sr., singles; Hannah Segal, Sr., doubles; Natalie Weller, Sr., doubles; Morgan Cvetkovic, Jr., doubles; Lauren Staffa, Jr., singles.

Outlook: “We’re still trying to stay competitive in the PAC,” Laskosky said. “We have lots of new players that show lots of potential with their game style and commitment to the game.”

DANIEL BOONE

Head coach: Garry Lucas, sixth season.

Last year’s record: 1-7 Berks Conference, 5-11 overall.

Players to watch: Kaitlyn Burns, Sr.; Caitlin Hoag, Sr.; Demi Kishbaugh, Sr.; Taylor Ledford, Sr., singles; Josie Reinhardt, Sr., singles; Keely Shelhammer, Sr; Rachel Haag, Jr.; Paige McDonald, Jr.; Amanda Newland, Jr.; Dominique Viola, Jr.; Abbey Cleaver, So.; Annika Swanton, So.

Outlook: A freshman, Mallory Barndt, is also in the mix for the Blazers. … The addition of a few newcomers has Lucas believing Boone can up its win total from five wins a year ago. “Our team is ready to compete,” he said. “We’ve been playing all summer and we’re excited about getting full-swing into the season. Our strengths include good leadership from our seniors and a very balanced line-up. Because of our balance, I think we can get wins from various positions. The competition level in this area is high so we’ll need to maintain our focus if we are to achieve our goals. Additionally, the chemistry on our team is good, we are positive with one another and that strengthens our commitment to excellence. Our overall goal is to emerge from the middle of the pack.”

HILL SCHOOL

Head coach: Clarence Oliver, fourth season.

Last year’s record: 7-7 overall.

Players to watch: Joyce Sun, 2nd year, singles/doubles; Elena (Enbei) Zhang, 2nd year, singles.

Outlook: The Blues look to improve on their fourth-place finish in the Mid-Atlantic Prep League from last season. They figure to have Zhang at first singles, and Sun at third singles or first and second doubles….“We lost some good players and will have to see how the players joining the team shape up to the pressure of playing at varsity,” Oliver said. “We should be competitive, though.”

METHACTON

Head coach: Cathy Miller, ninth season.

Last year’s record: 10-1 Pioneer Athletic Conference, 14-3 overall.

Players to watch: Rachel Dorn, Sr., doubles; Claire Fortin, Sr., doubles; Ari Louer, Sr., singles/doubles; Anna Hilles, Jr., doubles; Dina Nouaime, Jr., singles; Tina Prince, Jr., singles; Anna Ryu, Jr., singles/doubles.

Outlook: Senior Elise Alexander and sophomores Karen Li and Joanna Zheng are also vying for berths in the team ladder. … Nouaime returns from a 2016 season that saw her finish third in the PAC Singles Tournament, then team with the departed Sydnee Markowitz to place fourth at PAC Doubles. … “The team is excited about the season and working hard to fill the spots vacated last season,” said Miller. “They are looking forward to a competitive season.

OWEN J. ROBERTS

Owen J. Roberts’ Elaina Lee readies to hit a backhand last season. (Austin Hertzog – The Mercury)

Head coach: Jerry Styer, 19th season.

Last year’s record: 10-1 Pioneer Athletic Conference, 11-1 overall.

Players to watch: Cameron DelGato, Sr., doubles; Leeann Dempey, Sr., doubles; Chole Doyle, Sr., singles; Lauren Fisher, Sr., doubles; Erica Gratton, Sr., doubles; Jen Weston, Sr., doubles; Julia Brennan, Jr.; Jacee Caplan, Jr., singles; Lindsey Lafountain, Jr.; Elaina Lee, Jr., singles; Vidisha Pandey, Jr., singles; Paige Cadieux Petrie, Jr.,; Madeline Zarkoski, Jr., doubles; Maria Monteleone, So.

Outlook: Lee was fifth in last year’s PAC Singles Tournament, going on to place second at PAC Doubles with the graduated Camryn Gelting. … “We are looking forward to another successful season, and doing well in the singles and doubles tournaments,” Styer said. “We are carrying over 50 girls and quite a few athletes with promising potential — a large group of girls, and everyone seems enthusiastic and looking forward to the season.”

PERKIOMEN SCHOOL

Head coach: Mindy Irven, third season.

Last year’s record: 8-0 Tri-County League, 12-2 overall.

Players to watch: Jill Kachmar, Sr., singles; Molly Welby, Sr., singles; Julia Kelly, So., singles.

Outlook: Kristine Rivera, Lillian Park and Tracy Kanimba are other players who could fill spots in the Panther lineup. ,,, Kelly was undefeated at first singles, both in the league and for the season, while Kachmar also went unbeaten in the TCL. … “We graduated five seniors last year,” Irven said, “but still look good with some strong returning players. Definitely spots to fill in doubles. With Julia and Jill at first and second singles, we have a strong start. We just need to fill the other spots with players who can contribute to the team and win some matches. Based on returning players, we should be able to have a strong singles and doubles teams.”

PERKIOMEN VALLEY

Perkiomen Valley’s Jasmine Morris, front, returns a shot during the PAC Doubles Championships Saturday alongside Allison Newman, back. Morris will make the move from Doubles to Singles play this season. (Barry Taglieber – For DFM)

Head coach: Jennifer Dixon, 16th season.

Last year’s record: 7-4 Pioneer Athletic Conference, 7-5 overall.

Players to watch: Jasmine Morris, Sr., singles;  Nadja Townsend, So., singles.

Outlook: Morris, who last fall teamed with the departed Allison Newman to win the PAC Doubles a second straight year, moves up to singles play. … “We brought on a lot of freshmen girls last year, and they all have returned with much improvement, working on their games off-season,” Dixon said. “We will be 26 in total this year, with a strong focus on our doubles teams to play more aggressively.”

PHOENIXVILLE

Head coach: Katie Yancik, second season.

Last year’s record: 7-3 Pioneer Athletic Conference, 7-5 overall.

Players to watch: Julia Gumieniak, Jr., singles; Mila Archer, So., singles.

Outlook: Gumieniak placed fourth at the 2016 PAC Singles Tournament. … “We have a strong and young team this year,” Yancik said. “The girls are working really hard and really well together. We are hoping to improve our record from last year.”

POPE JOHN PAUL II

Head coach: Michael Esz, first season.

Last year’s record: 4-6 Pioneer Athletic Conference.

Players to watch: Devin Hennessey, Sr., singles/doubles; Maggie Christiansen, Fr., doubles.

Outlook: “The 2017 PJP team is a dedicated group of athletes that are determined to compete and eager to learn,” Esz said. “Their drive is insatiable in terms of practicing and committing to excellence. Their attitude is strive to reach the next level, yet to never back down. This is a team that is gathering momentum and gaining strength daily.”

POTTSGROVE

Head coach: Gus Tellis, seventh season.

Last year’s record: 3-8 Pioneer Athletic Conference, 4-10 overall.

Players to watch: Kelsey Bunn, Sr.; Ashley Lessig, Sr.; Rebekah Lilliendahl, Sr., singles; Waverly Nofer, Sr.; Karli Tellis, Sr.; Alexis Youse, Sr.; Mya Krueger, So., singles.

Outlook: Lilliendahl and Krueger return to play singles for the Falcons. … “This year’s girls tennis is balanced with youth and senior leadership,” Tellis said. “The girls have been working very hard to improve their skill set and looking forward to match play this 2017 season.”

POTTSTOWN

Head coach: Ira Watts, eighth season.

Last year’s record: 1-10 Pioneer Athletic Conference.

Players to watch: Gianna Epps, Sr., singles; Abigail Richer, Sr.; Zoe Wallace, Sr.; Kimberly Wilkinson, Sr.; Sierra Everett, So., singles.

Outlook: “We have a couple of newcomers to tennis with a lot of potential,” Watts said. “I just hope we can field a complete team this year. Last year we had to forfeit the third and fourth doubles every year, it seems, because we didn’t have enough players for a complete varsity team. So we had to start every match from behind by two points. I’m sure my senior and my junior players will provide good leadership.”

SPRING-FORD

Spring-Ford’s Tori Alexander hits a backhand against Methacton’s Dina Nouaime at No. 1 singles. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Head coach: Todd Reagan, 14th season.

Last year’s record: 10-1 Pioneer Athletic Conference, 14-3 overall.

Players to watch: Bianca Caresosa, Sr.; Jess Leach, Sr,; Maddy Morris, Sr.; Lauren Ostermann, Sr.; Tori Alexander, Jr.; Kathryn Alvarez, Jr.; Riley Burke, So,

Outlook: Alexander was PAC’s Singles runner-up last year. She and Alvarez later teamed up to place third at PAC Doubles. … “The Rams return the top of their lineup and several players from last year’s very successful doubles teams.” Reagan said. “The girls are determined to work hard and try to solidify themselves as a top team in the league, and a potential district qualifier as a team.”

UPPER MERION

Head coach: Eric Bowe, first season (third overall).

Last year’s record: 5-6 Pioneer Athletic Conference, 5-7 overall.

Players to watch: Gabby Marguilies, Sr., doubles; Ava Rosato, Sr., doubles; Minali Tare, Sr., singles; Moira Ryan, So., singles/doubles.

Outlook: Bowe previously was the Viking program’s head coach in 2010 and 2011. ,,, “As this is my first season back in over five seasons,” Bowe said, “every one of these girls is new to me. My hope is to continue the development my predecessor, Philippe David, had started and continue to make this team stronger. I feel like the team is in good position to repeat a lot of what we had last year, and hopefully add some victories to the overall in both the PAC and out of conference.”

UPPER PERKIOMEN

Head coach: John Williamson, ninth season.

Last year’s record: 2-9 Pioneer Athletic Conference, 4-10 overall.

Players to watch: Allison Herbst, Sr., singles; Sky Gianfriddo, So., singles; Maddy Gochnauer, So., singles.

Outlook: ”We are a very young team overall,” Williamson said, “and are a year or two away from fulfilling our potential. Our players will grow and learn to compete at a higher level throughout the season. We have a great group of girls who are working hard every day.”

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