Young players gain experience for Plum tennis
The Plum girls tennis team has struggled early, starting 1-6 overall with a 0-4 section record in Section 3-AAA.
With 18 players, including eight seniors, coach Vince Rometo has been trying to get some of the freshmen and sophomores playing time in order to help them develop and gain experience.
“We have several girls that play other sports other than tennis, so it is hard for them to be able to give 100 percent to the team,” Rometo said. “Most of the teams we play in our section are completely focused on tennis. That is just not the case here.”
Seniors Julia Lawrence and Sommer Lewis have been bright spots for the Mustangs over the past couple of years. Lawrence plays No. 1 singles and finished last year with a 7-9 record, and Lewis was 9-7 at No. 2 singles.
“We have had a lack of energy on the team the past couple years, but these two bring it every match,” Rometo said. “They have been very consistent and have had a positive influence on the younger girls on what we expect from them.”
Said Lewis: “I have the benefit of playing against my twin brother in the offseason. It helps to continuously practice and always have someone I can play against.”
With room for his team to grow, Rometo is looking for a mixture of seniors to lead the way and guide the underclassmen.
“This year we have more of an option in the singles matches being able to rotate that No. 3 to help the younger girls,” Rometo said. “Right now we are looking on improving doubles and continue to work to give some of the younger girls some experience.”
Added Lewis: “With such a young team, it is important to keep the morale up at all times. I have to lead the pack vocally, but I also have to back it up with my play.”
With their playoff chances looking slim, the Mustangs will look to keep building their team. They understand the position they are in but will continue to compete.
“Right now we just want to get better every match,” Rometo said. “We always want to win, but we will work on improving and hopefully improve on what we were able to accomplish last year.”
Said Lewis: “We have such a young team, so we want to be able to expand the program here at the school. As a team we want to continue to improve and exceed what we were able to achieve last year.”
Cody Scott is a freelance writer.