Scotties shooting for solid season
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Thanks in large part to inexperience, the Southmoreland girls tennis team managed just five victories last season.
Third-year coach Jim Kessler thinks this year's squad is ready to make a run at the postseason.
“We were preparing for this year,” he said. “Last season, we had mostly freshmen and sophomores, and we knew going into the season that we were probably going to have a chance to win four or five matches. And we beat the teams that we were supposed to beat. So, actually it was a good year in that sense. But this year we need to step it up. This year we have a pretty good shot at making the playoffs. That's our goal.”
Two juniors sit at the top of Southmoreland's lineup — returning No. 1 singles player Ashley Belzer and Marissa Luden at No. 2.
“Ashley has a lot of power,” Kessler said. “She strikes the ball well. She's been taking lessons and really working on her game. ... That experience from last year really has helped her.”
Luden is another player who likes to put in a lot of practice time.
“I always see her at the park with her basket of balls,” Kessler said. “She takes her game seriously.”
Clarissa Horak saw action at both Nos. 1 and 2 doubles last year. This season, she may be Southmoreland's ace in the hole.
“She should be really strong at third singles,” Kessler said. “Most of the schools we play, when you get down to the third singles, there's really a drop-off in talent. That's not the case with Clarissa.”
It appears Justina Jacquillard and Jae Pawlikowsky will form the No. 1 doubles team. Kessler said there are several girls in the running for No. 2 doubles.
Kessler said he expects Derry, Greensburg Central Catholic and Mt. Pleasant to be among the top teams in Section 1-AA. If last year's experience pays dividends, Southmoreland could be in the mix.
“The girls have the talent,” Kessler said. “They know how to play tennis. They have good skills. We need to come together as a team.
“We need to play as a team and get along.”
Dave Stofcheck 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.
- ‘Let It Snow’ filming in Millvale
- Former Steelers LB Haggans to do time in Westmoreland jail
- Pitt adds Texas wide receiver as 16th commitment to Class of 2015
- Crosby understands rule prohibiting him from playing, stresses he is hurt
- Ex-Steelers QB Batch creates sports medicine startup at Pitt
- Bober released as Wuerl school president to concentrate on building new St. Kilian church
- WVU frat pledge had fatal blood alcohol level more than 6 times legal limit
- 2 accused of taking baby to New Kensington drug deal get probation
- LeBeau won’t join Cardinals coaching staff
- Supporters optimistic about passage of medical marijuana
- Allegheny County assistant public defender charged for allegedly lying to court staff