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Norwin tennis building on last season's success

| Monday, March 20, 2017, 6:15 p.m.
Norwin's Evan Morgan practices March 16, 2017, at Norwin.
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Norwin's Evan Morgan practices March 16, 2017, at Norwin.
Norwin's Chad Sanderson practices March 16, 2017, at Norwin.
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Norwin's Chad Sanderson practices March 16, 2017, at Norwin.
Norwin's Aaron Kuhn practices March 16, 2017, at Norwin.
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Norwin's Aaron Kuhn practices March 16, 2017, at Norwin.
Members of the Norwin boys tennis team include, in front, from left, Jadon Hooke, John Diekut, Matthew Alford, Nathan Dietrich, Evan Morgan; in back, Matt Bushik, Chad Sanderson, Alec George, Aaron Kuhn, Austin Hicks and head coach Ryan Hornick.
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Members of the Norwin boys tennis team include, in front, from left, Jadon Hooke, John Diekut, Matthew Alford, Nathan Dietrich, Evan Morgan; in back, Matt Bushik, Chad Sanderson, Alec George, Aaron Kuhn, Austin Hicks and head coach Ryan Hornick.

Despite an early exit in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs, the Norwin boys tennis team will look to build upon last season's success.

“Last year we were able to win the close matches,” coach Ryan Hornick said. “That shows what kind of players we have. We were able to build off of that confidence.”

Junior Evan Morgan, who will play at first singles, will lead Norwin. Second and third singles slots will be decided between juniors Chad Sanderson and Aaron Kuhn.

Morgan performed well last season in the WPIAL tournaments, reaching the quarterfinals for singles and doubles.

Kuhn is hoping to help guide the young team this season.

“We lost a few of our talented seniors from last year,” Kuhn said. “We have guys that are willing to step up, though. We have the talent and depth to do so.”

Hornick is aware of the youth on the team but is happy with what he has.

“We lack experience,” Hornick said. “We are young, so we are going to have to learn quickly and be able to execute.”

With that lack of experience, Hornick expects senior Matt Bushik to step up this season as a leader.

“He has a lot of potential, and he will continue to work on improving,” Hornick said.

Hornick also will lean on sophomore Nathan Dietrich.

“Nathan has been in the system for a while. We know what we can do, and we know what we can expect out of him,” Hornick said.

Although Hornick was satisfied with how the team performed last year, he has one specific goal for his players.

“We need to be more consistent,” Hornick said. “In order to make a deeper run, we have to focus on consistency.”

Kuhn reiterated Hornick's statement, citing how important it will be while trying to navigate Section 1-AAA with Armstrong, Connellsville, Franklin Regional, Gateway, Hempfield, Kiski Area, Latrobe and Penn-Trafford.

“In order to build off of what we accomplished last year, we are going to have to be more consistent,” Kuhn said.

“We do not want to be average and finish the same as last year. We want to be able to improve and make adjustments that will put us in a better position to win consistently.”

Cody Scott is a freelance writer.

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