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Connellsville tennis team showing enthusiasm

| Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, 1:21 a.m.
Alexis Schimansky will likely enter the season as the No. 1 singles player for Connellsville. Jason Black/Daily Courier

Even though the Connellsville girls tennis team has yet to play a match this season, coach William Ricks can already see some positive aspects surrounding this year's group of Falcons.

“We're better than last year, and we'll try to make them more competitive,” Ricks said.

“The rest is up to them. It's nice to see their enthusiasm and see how much they are putting into it. They are taking it seriously.”

The Falcons lost several starters to graduation, including singles players Malinda Miller and Lindsey Dove, but there are players ready to step in and fill the void.

Senior Alexis Schimansky saw starting action last season, and will be called upon to play at first singles this season.

“She played at first doubles last year, and I'm sure she can do what she has to do,” Ricks said. “I think she has a lot of confidence in herself.”

Alexis Schimansky is looking forward to her increased role.

“I've been working on things so that I could be in this position,” Alexis Schimansky said. “I'm excited about it.”

Filling in behind Alexis Schimansky will likely be juniors Kasey McIntosh and Nicole Carnes at second and third singles, respectively.

Senior Kaitlyn Nedrow and freshman Sarah Schimansky are top candidates to play together at first doubles.

Senior Eryn Henry will likely play at second doubles, with Sarah Schimansky or junior Justine Waggel filling the other second doubles spot.

“The scrimmage matches and exhibition matches will give us a better feel of how things are going to go,” Ricks said.

Ricks is hoping that the Falcons are in fine working order once they begin play in Section 1-AAA later this month.

Connellsville's section opponents include Franklin Regional, Greensburg Salem, Hempfield, Latrobe, Kiski, Norwin and Penn-Trafford.

For Connellsville, finding success in the section has been a tough challenge in recent seasons. Last year, the Falcons posted a 3-9 section record, but were 6-11 overall.

“I know in past seasons we haven't won a lot of matches,” Alexis Schimansky said, “but everybody is working hard, and I think we can do well in the section.”

Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jblack@tribweb.com or 724-626-3534.

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