Conestoga exploring new ways for success

Each year Conestoga High School girls’ tennis coach Fran Tomaselli hopes her returning players will incorporate new players into the tight-knit bond the team forms each year as they compete for a Central League title along with a long playoff run.

Following a season in which the Pioneers graduated seven of her 11 players that comprised the varsity ladder, Tomaselli knew the leadership her returning players display would be key if Conestoga was going to be successful.

“The seniors and captains (Kaylle Yan, Lindsey Taaffe and Cecilia Mabilais) have displayed great leadership making sure everyone is enjoying themselves and feeling like they are part of the team,’ said junior Nour Elkassabany, who plays No. 2 doubles with Hannah Ashton.

With a solid core of returning players combined with new players being able to gel and fit comfortably into the ladder, the Pioneers meshed together to win their 6th consecutive Central League title thus earning a berth into the upcoming PIAA District One Class AAA team tournament that begins on Monday October 6.

“It’s really nice to win the Central League,’ said Yan, who plays No. 1 singles. “Everyone worked on their game during the summer and it paid off. It was a total team effort.

Junior Hannah Ashton added, “It definitely means a lot to win the Central League crown. We worked hard to get here.

“One of the reasons we were able to win our 6th league title in a row is because our team has been so deep for the last several years that most of my players would be playing varsity on other teams, but here they have to compete hard just to make the team,’ Tomaselli said. “When they saw that a lot of players were leaving after last season, most of them worked hard in the off-season to prepare. The other main reason is that we were very fortunate to get three new freshmen and one sophomore to replace many of those that left. So between the new players and those that returned, we have been able to remain a force in the league.’

One of the talented freshmen Tomaselli was referring to was Amy Zhang, who played No. 2 singles and recently earned a spot in the PIAA District One Class AAA singles tournament by virtue of her sixth place finish in the Central League singles tournament.

The other two freshmen that earned spots on the varsity ladder are Maddie Wood who plays No. 1 doubles with Taaffe and Nina Herman who plays No. 4 doubles with senior Katie Ryan.

Rounding out the varsity ladder is junior Julia Herman who plays No. 3 singles and sophomore Sarah Aboseada and senior Chrissy Walton who play No. 3 doubles.

To accompany their hard work on the court another key reason for Conestoga’s long run of success has much to do with the family like atmosphere the returning players along with Tomaselli and assistant coach Bev McGeehan instill.

“The atmosphere the coaches and the returning players instill has played a big role,’ Ashton said. “They make sure the team comes together as one.’

Yan added, “It’s important to establish cohesion and cheer for each other. The team’s dedication and hard work as a team has been key.’

With the regular season winding down, Conestoga hopes their season will continue with a deep playoff run that will be fortunate enough to end in Hershey.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply