H.S. girls' tennis / 2018 preview capsules

ECC Division I

East Lyme

Coach: Laurie Zrenda (13th year)

Key returnees: Sr. Colleen Keller, Jr. Mary Katherine Taylor, Sr. Ashley Brown, Jr. Shauna Kim, Sr. Erin Peterec, Sr. Neha Ande, Jr. Emily Zhu, So. Liz Beaulieu, So. Sophia Rogers, Jr. Grace Foltz.

Top newcomers: So. Becca Paggioli, Sr. Sydney Dow, Fr. Caroline French, Fr. Alissa Li, Fr. Ella Arustei, Fr. Soleil Demars.

Outlook: The Vikings won their final three matches to qualify for the Class M tournament last year and return all four singles players (Keller, Taylor, Brown, Kim). Keller was an ECC all-star and Peterec was part of an ECC all-star doubles team with her sister Kelly, who graduated. East Lyme has the ability to challenge for a division title. "I think the outlook is great for us this year," Zrenda said. "I have a lot of returning players with a lot of match experience."

Fitch

Coach: Todd Higgins (19th year)

Key returnees: Sr. Samantha Cote, Jr. Sneha Kuamr, So. Kavita Srirangam, So. Graysen Scherer, Jr. Charlina Holloway, Sr. Emmy Powdrill.

Top newcomers: Fr. Fiona Kennedy, Fr. Haley Rodgers, Fr. Hayden Kowalski, Sr. Amanda Wagman, Jr. Caroline Garrett, Fr. Ariana Timmerman, So. Nyseana Ishmael.

Outlook: The Falcons won their first outright ECC title in program history a year ago (8-0 in Division I), but must replace ECC all-stars Laura Krick (singles) and Jillian Leger-Nina Lupo (doubles). But Cote, also an ECC all-star, returns and will move into the No. 1 singles role, and Higgins is excited by a talented group of freshmen and underclassmen who should keep Fitch right in the hunt to repeat in 2018.

Ledyard

Coach: Emily Lehet (1st year)

Key returnees: Sr. Cara Tran, Sr. Rachel Kane, Sr. Erika DeAndrade.

Top newcomers: So. Nina Obey, Fr. Abby DiRico, Fr. Lucia Ibarra.

Outlook: The Colonels went 7-8 a year ago and just missed out on a state tournament bid. Lehet takes over the program and welcomes back DeAndrade, an ECC all-star. "We're looking to improve our record from last year," Lehet said. "We have a lot of young, new players so skill development and growth is another of our focuses."

 

ECC Division II

Stonington

Coach: George Crouse (31st year)

Key returnees: Jr. Gabby Dellacono, Sr. Charlotte Johnstone, Sr. Makenzie Sadler, Sr. Margot Goodman, Sr. Hannah Middleton, Sr. Brielle Fratoni-Jaskiewicz, Sr. Phoebe Townsend, Jr. Ainsley Johnstone, Jr. Holly Foster, Jr. Cassie Onorato.

Top newcomers: Sr. Madison Geiger, Sr. Morgan Lestinsky, Jr. Ashley Culver, So. Allison Marsiglia, Fr. Amelia Caron.

Outlook: The Bears will remain the ECC's dominant program in 2018. They return their top four singles players, led by Dellacono (two time ECC champ, 2017 State Open runnerup) and Charlotte Johnstone (ECC runnerup), along with their top two doubles teams, led by returning ECC champions Middleton and Fratoni-Jaskiewicz. Stonington lost only three individual matches the entire 2017 season until losing to nemesis Weston 4-3 in the Class S state semifinals. Crouse expects to see Weston again at some point in 2018, and has also added Guilford for a tough non-conference match.

Waterford

Coach: Ed Kolnaski (3rd year)

Key returnees: Sr. Stacey Tasoulas, Sr. Sophie Joseph, Sr. Sophie Wang, Sr. Catherine Yao.

Top newcomers: Sr. Megan Goldschneider, Sr. Bella Piccione, Sr. Destiny Hsieh, Sr. Kaitlyn Serafino, Sr. Kara Porter, Jr. Michaela Green, Jr. Jannatul Anika, Jr. Angela Deielli, Jr. Shannon Fitzpatrick, Jr. Mia Carfi, Jr. Jessica Zemko, Jr. Jillian Zemko. So. Natalie Donahue, So. Hayley Wheeler, Fr. Ali Silva, Fr. Jennifer LeBlanc, Fr. Nitya Somineni, Fr. Sreenidhi Somineni.

Outlook: The Lancers went 12-6 a year ago, but will have some new faces playing singles, although they do return the ECC all-stars doubles team of Tasoulas-Yao. Kolnaski is confident some of his new players will make the transition to varsity and help Waterford earn another state tournament bid.

 

ECC Division III

Montville

Coach: Ted LaFemina (9th year)

Key returnees: Sr. Man Wai Chan, Sr. Joanna Liang, Sr. Jie Yi Huang, Sr. Luisa Alarcon, Sr. Lori Li, Jr. Rachel Liang, Jr. Linda Chen.

Outlook: The Indians continue to rebuild with a young team, but LaFeminia loves the attitude and spirit of this group and expects Montville to improve as the season progesses.

St. Bernard

Coach: Wes Woolworth (1st year)

Key returnees: Sr. Grace Sullivan, Sr. Anna Lawton, Jr. Kayla Sprecace, So. Lauren O'Donnell, So. Amber Caldwell.

Top newcomer: Fr. Aurianna Drinkwater.

Outlook: After sharing the Division III title with Killingly a year ago, the Saints will be in a rebuilding mode this season after graduating its top three singles players, all four-year starters. Woolworth, an assistant last year, takes over the program and has experience in doubles, but will rely on freshman Drinkwater and sophomore O'Donnell to lead the way in singles.

 

Others

Grasso Tech

Coach: Matthew Zagura (6th year)

Key returnees: Heather Carlin, Violet Abad, Sequoia Hood, Yosselin Jimenez, Briyanna Dorceley.

Top newcomers: Brianna Cordova, Hannah Vandevander.

Outlook: The Eagles went 3-7 a year ago, but return five varsity players and should be competitive in the new Connecticut Technical Conference. What really excites Zagura, however, is there are no seniors in the program, so the future is bright.

Norwich Tech

Coach: Emily Hayes (9th year)

Key returnees: Sr. Makayla Carson, Sr. Emily Cherwin, Sr. Christine White, Jr. Kelsey Williams.

Outlook: The Warriors move into the Connecticut Technical Conference and welcome back No. 1 singles player Carson, No. 3 singles player Williams and the top doubles team of Cherwin-White. Norwich Tech will rely on younger players to complete the other varsity spots as they continue to rebuild.

Old Lyme

Coach: Tracy Ann Lenz (5th year)

Key returnees: Sr. Keelin Hurtt, Jr. Brynn McGlinchey, Sr. Kellie Sablone, Emma Bass.

Outlook: The Wildcats' strength will be in singles, were Hurtt (No. 1), McGlinchey (No. 2), Sablone (No. 3) and Bass (No. 4) all return. Lenz is rebuilding her doubles teams, but there is plenty of talent and once they gain confidence and chemistry playing together there's no reason why Old Lyme can't be a factor in the Shoreline Conference race.

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