Chartiers Valley girls tennis coach Diane Daeschner leads Lady Colts in tough Section 4-AAA
Chartiers Valley seems to face an uphill battle every year in tennis.
The Lady Colts must battle through Section 4-AAA and contend with traditional WPIAL powers Mt. Lebanon, Oakland Catholic and Upper St. Clair along with Baldwin, Montour and West Allegheny.
Section 4-AAA got even tougher this season with the addition of the City League's Allderdice.
While it can be a grind, Chartiers Valley coach Diane Daeschner said her squad improves with every match it plays. With an 0-6 start in Section 4-AAA, the Lady Colts will look to take down section opponents on the second swing through the competition.
“It is a very tough section,” Daeschner said. “Going into our Lebo and USC matches is sometimes discouraging, but we set goals for ourselves and know that you only get better by playing better opponents. I give my girls credit for not getting frustrated against those teams and they play hard every point.
“West Allegheny, Montour and Baldwin are fun matches to watch. It can go either way and the match is often decided by the littlest of margins. Each year I feel the team gets a little stronger and part of it is because we do have a tough section and they have to play hard every match.”
The Lady Colts have freshman Margo Mason in the first singles role facing the top players in Section 4-AAA. Daeschner said it has been a challenge for the youngster but Mason's athletic ability — she also plays basketball and lacrosse — made her a good fit at the top spot.
“I was impressed when I saw her play this summer,” Daeschner said. “The No. 1 spot is a tough place to be, especially as a freshman. But she has held her own with some of the best players in the WPIAL.
“She is one of the most talented girls tennis players I have coached and I expect big things for her in the future.”
In the No. 2 singles spot is Margo's older sister, Madeline. The junior has held down the second singles spot for the previous two seasons, and Daeschner said she brings leadership to the squad.
“She is a fighter,” Daeschner said. “She will never give up on the court.”
In third singles is Ali Frampton.
The senior is in her third year as a starter but first as a singles player. Frampton played the previous two years in doubles.
“She played first doubles for the past two years,” Daeschner said. “She wins a lot of points when she does play the net.”
The first doubles team is held down by Sarah Sams and Danielle Ferrer, but Daeschner said the pairs have been changing.
For the moment, senior Sam Westrick and junior Hallie Williams are in the second doubles slot.
“We have done some switching around trying to find the right combination,” Daeschner said.
Daeschner said the team set out with the modest goal of finishing .500 this season. The 0-6 start has made the goal a more difficult task. But even if her squad fails to meet its goal, Daeschner has faith the players will be able to pick one another up and be ready for the next match.
“The best thing about each team I have coached at Chartiers Valley is that the girls are truly friends,” Daeschner said. “It makes for a great atmosphere and makes the team as a unit stronger.”
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-388-5813.