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Game, Set, Match: Previewing The 2018 Girls Tennis Season

August 24, 2018

Game, Set, Match: Previewing The 2018 Girls Tennis Season

The more things have changed for the 2018 WVC girls tennis season, the more they’ve stayed the same.

Especially concerning the dynamic duo of Brianna Pizzano and Stephanie Mazurek.

Everyone is still chasing Wyoming Area’s Pizzano, a junior who is the defending District 2 Class 2A champion and has shared Citizens’ Voice Player of the year honors the past two years with Mazurek. However, the latter’s graduation will give some of the league’s other top players a chance to stand out even more over the coming weeks.

Returning CV all-stars include Wyoming Seminary’s Nicole Joanlanne (junior) and Emily Urbanski (junior), Holy Redeemer’s Camryn Cassetori (junior) and Hazleton Area’s Lily Nowak (senior).

Nowak has to be one of the immediate favorites to take possession of Mazurek’s Class 3A singles title after facing her teammate in the district final. The Cougars are also the defending 3A team champions.

Cassetori and Joanlanne are worth watching, as both reached the district semifinals last season in Class 2A.

TEAM CAPSULES

Berwick

Head coach: Trinell Bull

2017 record: 5-8

Key returners: Multisport athlete Sydney Lloyd moves from No. 2 singles to the top spot, while Genevieve Johnson starts the season at No. 2. Bull has a number of players that could shuffle around the lineup, including Gianna Miller, Ellie Kozak and Keightlynn Kishbaugh.

Key additions: Twins Isa and Gabi Segura have joined the team as freshmen.

Coach’s outlook: “I’m optimistic. I think we’re going to improve as the season goes. They girls need to get some competitive experience. The team is really young. Hopefully, they’ll have steady improvement.”

Crestwood

Head coach: Scott Lenio

2017 record: 1-12

Key returners: Rachel McFarland, Breena Kravchick, Natalie Klimek, Korina Cheng, Bethany Newell, Gabby Gardner and Hannah Sobolewski

Key additions: Shannon Griffiths and Megan McLaughlin

Coach’s outlook: “We have all new starters in doubles and in Nos. 1 and 3 singles. The lineup will change as the year goes on as they challenge one another for starting positions.”

Coughlin

Head coach: Paul Gerrity

2017 record: 3-10

Key returners: Sydney Daley, Rachel Bath, Gianna Valenti, Marilyn Ogof and Chabee Patel (all 2017 starters)

Coach’s outlook: “We could have some interchangeable parts. A lot of the players are at roughly the same experience level, so that’s good. We have had competitive practices. We expect to be improved from last year.”

Dallas

Head coach: Joe Pugliese

2017 record: 9-4

Key returners: Sarah Stallard, Morgan Landau and Reese Lewandowski were all starters last season. Rylie Bay and Elizabeth Mead will have expanded roles as well.

Key addition: Caroline Stallard is a starter as a freshman.

Coach’s outlook: “We graduated four senior starters, including our top two in Hannah Bonk and Mikayla Reynolds. But even the players that didn’t start last year, I still had a few just on the brink of starting that got match experience. The team has enough depth that we should do well. My goal every year is to make the playoffs.”

GAR

Head coach: Raphael Cooper

Record: 5-8

Key players: Samantha Rodriguez, Jazmin Calva and Michelle Tapia

Coach’s outlook: “This will be our last year as GAR, so we hope it’s a special season. Many of the girls are seniors, and I hope we can find some success this year building off last season.”

Hanover Area

Head coach: Terry Schnee

2017 record: 0-13

Key returners: Kaitlyn Downey, Taylor Gavlick and Deanna Wadzin

Key additions: The Hawks are welcoming a number of freshmen to the team, including Karlee Yuskavage.

Coach’s outlook: “We are looking forward to a more competitive season and an improved record. This year’s squad has a nice balance of veteran seniors, experienced sophomores and juniors and several promising freshmen.”

Hazleton Area

Head coach: Katie Pavlick

2017 record: 13-0

Key returners: Lily Nowak, Alyssa Mazurek, Sophia Sebo and Sydney Shoemaker

Key additions: Maddie Terracino and Nina Zola

Coach’s outlook: “We graduated five seniors, three of which were our top athletes, but still have experienced players to rely on this season. We are looking to build our team up for the future with a fair amount of sophomores and juniors joining us. I have high expectations for all my players.”

Holy Redeemer

Head coach: Joe Suchocki

2017 record: 12-1

Key returners: Camryn Cassetori, Tea Amerise, Cassie Benderavich and Sonal Greg

Players to watch: Jenna Biago, Jordan Stochala, Vanessa Pinto and Sarah Stettler will compete for doubles positions according to Suchocki, along with freshman Carissa Benderavich.

Coach’s outlook: “We should have a good singles lineup with Camryn, Tea and Cassie. With the exception of Sonal, the rest of the team has no varsity experience, so doubles will be a work in progress. We should do well and, hopefully, make the playoffs.”

MMI Prep

Head coach: Tim Garvey

2017 record: 4-9

Key returners: Katharine Pinto, Dominique Kline, Lindsey Braunstein and Emily Ryan

Key additions: Emily Ankiewicz and Viva Barrett

Coach’s outlook: “We are hoping to work together to improve our game throughout the season.”

Pittston Area

Head coach: John Connors

2017 record: 8-5

Players to watch: Abby Connors and Kaitlyn Connors anchor at Nos. 1 and 2 singles, while Sarah Armitage is a first-year starter at No. 3. Juniors Krishna Patel and Izabell Lewis are new starters at No. 2 doubles.

Coach’s outlook: We had a good season last year and we expect to improve on it this year. We have four seniors that are starting and underclassmen that should perform well.”

Tunkhannock

Head coach: Justin Muthler

2017 record: 9-4

Key returners: Jillian Landon, Jordanna Bach and Naeomie Strohl

Players to watch: Jenna Laughinghouse and Meghan Keiser

Coach’s outlook: “The team is dedicated to getting better,” Muthler said to the Wyoming County Press Examiner, a Times-Shamrock newspaper. “They are hungry to improve. I am hoping that, this year, our girls will gain the experience so, next season, we have the foundation to move forward and work together.”

Valley West

Head coach: Jim Zimmerman

2017 record: 4-9

Players to watch: Singles players Anabel Gifoli and Claire Capin are back, and Macey Raskiewicz jumped from doubles last year to No. 3 singles in the Spartans’ opening match. Julia Franks and Morgan Shedletsky played doubles last season as well. Other team members include Kaylei Sahonick and Sara Hoskins.

Coach’s outlook: “Our team has some experience. We are getting better and should be able to improve on our record from previous years.”

Wyoming Area

Head coach: Bill Roberts

2017 record: 7-6

Players to watch: Junior Brianna Pizzano, a two-time Citizens’ Voice Player of the Year selection, is set at No. 1 singles. Bella Scappaticci returns and will start at No. 2 singles, while Megan Askew slots in at No. 3. The doubles pairings are Abigail Drendal and Stephanie Palovchak, and Cara Yorina and Mackenzie Goyne.

Coach’s outlook: “It’s my first year coaching girls tennis, so I’m just getting to know the girls really well. Looking at last year’s record, and the team has lost three or four starters, we could probably match that this year seeing how they’ve hit in practice.”

Wyoming Seminary

Head coach: Allison Joanlanne

2017 record: 11-2

Key returners: Nicole Joanlanne, Emily Urbanski and Shailee Desai

Other players to watch: Parker Callahan, Becca Hammerman, Paige Parsons, Jocelyn Mattingly and Dominica Delayo

Coach’s outlook: “Last year, we made it to the semifinals in districts. Our goal is to always win team districts.”

Contact the writer: tpiccotti@citizensvoice.com; 570-821-2089; @CVPiccotti on Twitter

 

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