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High School Girls' Tennis 2011 Preview

Published April 13. 2011 4:00AM   Updated April 18. 2011 6:54PM

Eastern Connecticut Conference

Large Division

EAST LYME

Coach: Laurie Privett (7th season)

Key returnees: Sr. Danielle Shen, Sr. Lizzie Tripp, Sr. Amy Whitehouse, Sr. Nicole Stevens, Sr. Hannah Tripp, Jr. Liz Miller, So. Joan Li.

Top newcomers: Jr. Sagune Sakya, So. Caroline Costa, So. Priti Voge, So. Samantha Hart, Fr. Julia Sokolovska.

Outlook: Lost to graduation were Victoria Santoro, the Day's Player of the Year and a two-time ECC tournament champion, and fellow ECC all-star Annie King. Returnees Whitehouse and Stevens won the ECC doubles title last year. Depth will help the Vikings in their quest to repeat as Large Division champions.

FITCH

Coach: Todd Higgins (11th season)

Key returnees: Sr. Julia Vitale, Jr. Maura Brown, Sr. Hannah Damon, Sr. Taryn Haller, Jr. Rebecca Stark, Jr. Alison Nowak, Jr. Liz Osborn, Sr. Ashley Bullard.

Top newcomers: So. Aimee Filippetti, So. Alyssa Denno, So. Corey St. Louis, So. Haley Savona, Sr. Aileene Duyan, Jr. Amy Hernandez.

Outlook: The Falcons return an experienced group that should be competitive in the ECC Large Division.

NORWICH FREE ACADEMY

Coach: Christine Toth (4th season)

Key returnees: Sr. Kristen Dooley, Jr. Kristie Andersen, Sr. Abigail Healy, Sr. Tori Dearborn, Sr. Lauren Barbarossa, Sr. Vivian Zhang, Sr. Lena Cedrone, Sr. Brittney Warbin, Jr. Sarah Slocum.

Top newcomers: So. Angela Flores-Alcade, So. Kirsten Wesolek, So. Jillian Stevenson.

Outlook: The Wildcats are a veteran team with six returning varsity players. They lost four key players from last year, but have seniors stepping into key roles. Many of the players have spent the offseason working on skills and playing strategies and have come in showing growth and potential. Individually, Dooley and Andersen will be the leaders, and Healy and Dearborn will be at the top of the doubles positions. Toth expects the team to have a repeat season with a berth to the state tournament.

WATERFORD

Coach: Larry Potter (9th season)

Key returnees: Sr. Taylor Tomasetti, Sr. Rachel Kriet, Sr. Briana Van Verdeghem, Sr. Carver Murphy, Sr. Kristi Slocum, Jr. Evelyn Luner, Jr. Casey Corrado, Jr. Kate Hudson.

Top newcomers: Fr. Phoebe Lee, Fr. Lexi Moger.

Outlook: Waterford started last season 2-6, but finished 7-2, including winning their last three matches to qualify for states. This season, they return a number of juniors and seniors with varsity experience, and look forward to competing in the ECC.

Medium Division

BACON ACADEMY

Coach: Donna Bonin (12th season)

Key returnees: Sr. Catherine Clark, Sr. Hannah Pettit, Sr. Julia Puscas, Sr. Alyssa Apelquist, Sr. Lauren Farrell, Sr. Nicole Raulukaitis, Sr. Laura Young, Jr. Casey Seymour, Jr. Becca Fox, So. Allyson Howes, So. Shannon Noonan.

Outlook: Bacon Academy went 15-1 en route to its best season ever in 2010. The ECC Medium Division champion returns six starters, but also lost its second-, third-, and fourth-slotted singles players, and second-best doubles, all to graduation. If the Bobcats want to repeat, they're going to need another strong season from Clark at No. 1 singles.

LEDYARD

Coach: Scott Woodruff (3rd season)

Key returnees: Sr. Emily Haggett, Sr. Sarah Woodruff, Jr. Addy Jakuba, Jr. Callie Bateman, Jr. KC Wilson.

Top newcomers: Sr. Caroline Calomme.

Outlook: The Colonels have better depth thanks to a large junior class. Calomme, an exchange student, will contribute right away at singles. "We should be more competitive than we were last year," Woodruff said.

Small Division

LYMAN MEMORIAL

Coach: Amy Barrett (1st year) and Matt Senechal (1st year).

Key returnees: Sr. Haly Cavanna, Sr. Tiffany Lazur, Jr. Michelle Savoie.

Top newcomers: Fr. Aurora Hooper.

Outlook: The Bulldogs graduated three of their top singles players, yet have several players back along with some promising freshmen. Lyman looks to improve on last season's record (3-14).

ST. BERNARD

Coach: Chris Portelance (1st season).

Key returnees: Sr. Hannah Benoit, Sr. Maura Pitluck, Sr. Julia Evola, Sr. Sarah Petersen, Jr. Suzie Kusmierski, Jr. Mackenzie Gagne, Jr. Jackie Csisar, Jr. Jessica Hester, So. Lexi Severino, So. Emily Patten.

Outlook: The majority of the team returns, including Benoit, who has signed to play at St. Michael's College. The Saints did lose ECC champion Olivia Arruda, who moved to South Carolina. They also have 14 newcomers.

STONINGTON

Coach: George Crouse (30th season)

Key returnees: Sr. Emilie Burgess, Sr. Courtney Onorato, Sr. Lindsey Michaels, Sr. Elizabeth Johnstone, Sr. Emily Morgera, So. Annika Burgess, So. Chloe Slater.

Top newcomers: Jr. Jennifer Conradi, Jr. Abby Volk, Jr. Lauren Valenti, Jr. Macy Wilcox-Tillet, So. Emily Buxton, So. Courtney Dumais, So. Evelyn Morgera, So. Liza Robinson, So. Lucy Schink.

Outlook: The Bears have lost just three times in the last three years - all in the Class S finals and all to Weston. Emilie Burgess is a returning ECC tournament finalist, while younger sister Annika led the Bears in points scored as a freshman. Stonington is looking for a singles player and a doubles team to fill out the varsity.

Others

NORWICH TECH

Coach: Emily Hayes (1st season)

Outlook: Hayes, who teaches at Norwich Tech, will lead the first tennis team at the school in more than 25 years. She does have experience, coaching Montville for eight years through 2009. With new courts and some athletes from the successful volleyball and softball teams, Hayes is excited for the challenge.

OLD LYME

Coach: Patty Doran (2nd season)

Key returnees: Sr. Alex Trausch, So. Lindsey Knepshield, Sr. Liz Bagdorf, So. Michelle Gao, Sr. Amanda Liefeld, Sr. Sarah Gaudio.

Top newcomers: Fr. Meghan Trausch, Fr. Kaylyn Wiese, So. Jenna Kowalski.

Outlook: Old Lyme has had an annual tradition of winning the Shoreline Conference, which has spanned the past six years. The Wildcats are hoping to make it seven. They'll have to begin the quest without their No. 1 and No. 2 from last year, but Doran still says this team has "a great outlook."

OLD SAYBROOK

Coach: Ruthanne Rothman (4th season)

Key returnees: Sr. Alissa Rothman, Sr. Taylor Beck, Sr. Abbi Dunlap, Sr. Beth Morrison, Sr. Hannah Newton, Sr. Mackenzie Cook, Sr. Tenzin Lama, So. Alex Steward.

Top newcomers: So. Daniela Palomeque, So. Christie DeAntonis.

Outlook: The Rams should have another stellar season. They went 15-3 last spring and return their top three singles players (Rothman, Beck and Steward). "With so many returning players to the varsity lineup, plus the addition of some new players, we hope to improve on last year's performance," Rothman said.

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