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Plum boys tennis team returns six of seven starters for 2013 season

| Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Plum varsity boys tennis team returned six of seven starters from last year's squad, and head coach Lori Senkewitz said she hopes the returning talent, mixed with a couple of fresh faces, will bring positive results this spring.

“The guys are really excited,” Senkewitz said.

“I've noticed a lot of dedication, even in the cold weather. They want to practice whenever they can. They are willing to put in that extra effort and do what is necessary to be their best. It's nice for a coach to see something like that.”

Senkewitz also was impressed with the effort the players put in on their own in the offseason.

“Several of the guys have club memberships, and they would invite others to play,” she said. “I've seen a lot of improvement from each of the players.”

Plum was slated to open Section 3-AAA play Monday against McKeesport, but Mother Nature scuttled those plans. The Mustangs hoped to play that match indoors on Tuesday, and the match was to be completed past the deadline for this week's edition.

Fox Chapel, Shady Side Academy and Pittsburgh Central Catholic again are the favorites to take the three WPIAL playoff spots from the section.

Plum also will face a challenge from Gateway, which returns all seven starters from last season's 6-6 squad.

The Mustangs were 2-10 in section and 5-12 overall in 2012.

Brett Rubash was the lone graduate from last year's team. He played No. 2 doubles with sophomore Dan Madrid.

Madrid is back at No. 2 doubles, and Senkewitz said he will be paired up with one of three players — senior Abish Pius, junior Grant Burgman or freshman Joe Doefler.

Plum beat Burrell, 3-2, in a scrimmage last week, and the Mustangs also suffered a 3-2 loss to Valley.

Madrid played with Burgman against Burrell and Abish against Valley.

Carson France, a sophomore, will be back at No. 1 singles. He went 6-11 overall and 2-10 in section matches

“He faced all of the section's top players, and he learned a lot,” Senkewitz said.

“It was an eye-opening experience. He got to train with some of them in the offseason. It let him know what he needed to do to get better.”

Seniors Michael Hoysan, Jason Berkavich and Thomas Rudzinski are the captains this season.

Hoysan is back at No. 2 singles, and he was 4-8 in section matches and a team-best 8-9 overall.

Berkavich and Rudzinski will be a No. 1 doubles tandem again, while sophomore Jason Kuhn is back at No. 3 singles.

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com.

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