The Shady Side Academy girls tennis team, despite losing three seniors and their No. 1 singles player from a year ago, has hit the ground running this season.
The team has rolled to a 9-0 mark so far and coach Jeff Miller is mildly surprised.
“We're starting off OK,” he said. “I don't know if I expected a 9-0 start but we have a strong team and a lot of depth. We've only been really challenged once and that was against North Allegheny. We won that one, 3-2.”
Perhaps the biggest surprise is that the Indians have done so well with a pair of freshmen playing at No. 1 and No. 2 singles.
“Kelly Mengel, our top player from last year, is going to school in South Carolina this year,” Miller said. “We've been playing Emma Perelman, whose sister, Sara, was our top player a few years ago, at No. 1 and another freshman, Lindsay Miller, at No. 2.
“They've done very well.”
As has the rest of the team. Junior Liza Plakseychuk is at No. 3 singles. Senior co-captain Anisa Khalouf and junior Maddy Mordoh are at No. 1 doubles while senior co-captain Danielle Perelman and junior Amanda Murphy play at No. 2 doubles.
Miller thinks that the section title will come down to SSA and Fox Chapel. The Foxes' lineup also boasts some talented freshmen slotted in at singles.
“It looks like it may come down to our freshmen against their freshmen,” he said.
Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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