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Girls tennis: Defending state champ Harriton ready to net victories this fall

Rosemont >> The Harriton High School girls’ tennis team is in a position it has not been in since the start of the 2010 season – defending PIAA state champions.
“It’s an interesting position to be in,” said senior co-captain Emma Anisman, who is projected to play either third or fourth doubles. “Just like our seniors did last season, we want to make sure the most important key is fostering team spirit and trying to have fun. That is what playing high school tennis is all about and we want to make sure everyone feels like they are part of a team.”
After suffering an early season loss to league rival Conestoga last season, which would end up giving the Pioneers the Central League crown, co-captains Sonia Groeneveld, Izzy Lushbough and Kit Meiler made sure to let the team know there were two other titles well within the team’s grasp.
Following the captain’s lead, the Rams stayed the course eventually defeating West Chester Henderson in the PIAA District One Class AAA final before sending shockwaves through Hershey defeating North Allegheny, who was riding a 44 match win streak, to capture their first title since moving up to Class AAA in 2012.
“The seniors were very valuable,” said sophomore Shaina Ginsberg, who played second doubles with Groeneveld last season, earning a valuable point with their victory in the state finals after missing the early part of the season with an injury. “They really helped keep the team together, provide great support and make everyone feel included.”
Harriton’s third-year coach David Broida added, “The captains – Alex Miller, Katie Lee, Emma Anisman and Sofia Kandoussi – are very important. They run the stretching and running before practice and matches, they order uniforms, they host team pot-luck dinners, and lead the team cheer before matches.”
Viewed as a perennial power each season, this season appears it will be no different with key personnel returning – Sophia Sassoli, Connie Richards, Nina Hoog, Lauren Binnion, Kandoussi, and Ginsberg plus two additions – Saige Roshkoff and Mackenzie Sherman.
“I think it is really exciting to see the team grow and get better each year,” said Binnion, who teamed with Kandoussi at first doubles last season. “Having new players who bring different levels of experience is important for the continued growth of our team.”
The Rams co-captains’ main goal is to build a cohesive unit that has hopes of concluding its season in a town labeled the “Sweetest Place on Earth.”

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