ShareThis Page

Plum tennis battling cold weather early on

| Monday, March 20, 2017, 6:18 p.m.

Old Man Winter's triumphant return to Western Pennsylvania stalled early season court time for Plum boys tennis.

With snow, below average temperatures and no place to practice indoors, Plum has only a handful of preseason practices under its belt.

New Plum coach Vince Romito said the weather woes also forced them to cancel scrimmages against Springdale and Kiski Area.

“We were supposed to play (last Wednesday) and the weather was bad, it was bad the day before and (last Thursday) it was 19 degrees,” Romito said. “Sometimes I wonder if spring sports start too early, but it's usually better than this at this time of year.”

Romito, who took over for Aaron Wilf, who resigned after one season, is in his second stint with Plum. He coached the team a decade ago and is a longtime instructor and tournament director in the local area. Romito also coached the Plum girls team in the fall.

Though it has been hard to get a baseline on the team in their short time together, Romito has some returning players, including junior Colin Lewis. After playing second singles a year ago, Lewis is expected to play as the top singles player this spring with the graduation of Matt Bohinski. Lewis' sister, Sommer, plays on the girls team.

JJ Jenkins and Josh Boland will be the top doubles team this year. Other players who Romito called “up and coming” are Vincenzo Tavella and Max Lu. Tavella could slot in at second singles.

“To me the kids seem really upbeat,” Romito said. “We have a couple of players, who I think are going to be really good. We'll see after we play a couple of matches, and if they lose a match we'll see where the confidence level is. I want to see how they do against the better teams.”

One of the main through lines of Romito's message to his team is the ability to be consistent. Romito considers consistency as the most important aspect to tennis.

“Some of the younger kids want to hit the ball too hard because they want to blow it by people,” Romito said. “Consistency is important, especially in doubles. They really don't have to hit the ball too hard. They just have to get it in and be smart about the way they play.

“In singles you have to just keep the ball deeper. From the serve to groundstrokes, everything has to be consistent. During practice if I see were not getting our serves in a lot, we're going to practice that. It's just like any other sport, you have to practice.”

Plum plays in Section 3-AAA with perennial strong programs Shady Side Academy and Fox Chapel.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.