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Freshmen to make early impact for Norwin girls tennis

September 16, 2018
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Ashley Pesarsick returns to the Norwin girls tennis team in 2018.

The Norwin girls tennis team has some holes to fill under a new coach, but is optimistic.

The Knights (0-1) lost six players, including two-time WPIAL Class AAA singles champion Maria Santilli, but have a lot of freshmen who coach Diane Pesarsick expects to make an impact.

The Knights placed second to Latrobe in Section 1-AAA and qualified for the WPIAL tournament last season.

They were slated to take on the Wildcats in their second section match of the season Aug. 27.

“Many girls train together during the offseason,” said Pesarsick, who took over after Ryan Hornick resigned after eight seasons.

“They know (each other’s) playing style, which should make for some great doubles teams.”

Senior captain Anna Lanyi said there is a lot of talent on the team.

“If we work together, we can make it far,” Lanyi said.

Lanyi steps into big shoes at first singles, where she replaces Santilli, who won the 2016 PIAA title and is playing for Cincinnati.

“I’ve worked hard the past three years to get to where I (am),” Lanyi said. “I am looking forward to seeing my hard work pay off.

“Ideally, I’d like to make it to WPIALs for singles.”

Lanyi and Santilli reached the 2015 WPIAL doubles championship as section champions.

Pesarsick’s daughter moves up to second singles.

Ashley Pesarsick, a junior captain, scored Norwin’s only point in a 4-1 nonsection loss to Oakland Catholic on Aug. 22.

“I’d say my training during the offseason definitely paid off,” she said.

Sophomore Isha Vyas, freshman Sydney Pesarsick and sophomore Trinity Miller are the next best players.

Diane Pesarsick, whose maiden name is Thomas, said she played for Norwin in the late 1980s and her daughters share her passion for the sport.

“I enjoy hitting with them and seeing their progress,” she said.

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