Hempfield girls tennis looks to defend Section 1 title
By Brittany Goncar
Published: Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012, 8:56 p.m.
Hempfield is the team to beat this year after holding the Section 1-AAA tennis title two years in a row, including last season's championship that came after a 12-0 run in the section.
The Spartans will have to do so without six players lost to graduation, including Danielle Falo, who was undefeated at third singles.
“We are in the same position we were in last year,” coach Jerry Way said. “Everybody on the returning team and the freshmen are playing new positions. That's not concerning me as far as the talent level of this year compared to last year.”
Way will return several key players this year, including sophomore Madison DeBone and senior Carly Bryan, who will fill the first and second singles spots, respectively. Last year, the pair performed in first doubles, suffering one loss to Latrobe in a third-set tiebreak.
“It's exciting, but also nerve-racking too,” DeBone said about the change. “It's a lot of pressure, and I have a lot to hold up for the team.”
Both girls have spent time preparing for the new challenge.
“I'm adjusting by practicing 24/7 with my team ... moving the ball around a lot,” Bryan said. “Madison and I just really need to get our heads on so we can have a really good season in singles.”
Junior Emily Bevington and senior Hailey Rodgers will fill first doubles.
“There is no doubt this year that the girls I have can play tennis,” Way said. “Now, playing the new positions and trying to get themselves acclimated to singles from doubles, and some girls that were exhibition players playing in the starting lineup (is what I'm not sure of yet).
“I know them all. I know they're abilities, but how they respond to the match play as we move along would be the key for me as a coach. “
Way has coached the Hempfield tennis team for 12 years and is also a tennis instructor, hosting summer clinics that most of the girls have attended. He attributes the team's success to the girls' desire to succeed and a little healthy competition.
“We have a very competitive team,” Bryan said. “We are all really good players. It's hard; you have to stay focused 24/7 and not let your guard down. We also have a very tough section, and the other schools have good players, so every single match is complete seriousness and focus.”
Despite his own itch to win, Way has another goal for his team during their high school career.
“My goal is to make them happy to play tennis,” Way said. “Yeah, it's a serious thing because it's a high school sport, but I want the girls to have fun. I realize they are high school players and there is a lot more to life that they are going to encounter than high school tennis.”
Brittany Goncar is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Alvarez struggles as Pirates fall short against Brewers
- Orpik: Penguins must keep their cool
- Pirates trade for Mets first baseman Davis
- Penguins’ Bylsma wants Cup version of Letang
- Dems in Pa. governor’s race vow to close loophole, say firms skirt corporate tax
- Latrobe woman texts searchers in Linn Run State Park to tell them she’s OK
- Rossi: Pens sticking to power-play plan
- Gorman: Can Mike Tyson save boxing?
- Former Mystic Inn burns in Republic, Fayette County
- City’s efforts bolstered to track illegal dumping
- California University of Pennsylvania offers training for weather spotters