Although the weather has other coaches having fits about lack of practice time and lost preseason games, Pine-Richland's Janet Chappell and the tennis team are right on schedule. Having the good fortune of playing at Lakevue Tennis Club, the Rams have been doing pretty well early on this season.
Pine-Richland lost, 3-2, to perennial power North Allegheny and has yet to face Hampton — a team Chappell thinks highly of. But she feels her team is stronger than last year.
Chappell expects Caleb Kramer to win each time out at No. 1 singles.
“Caleb is a good No. 1 player,” Chappell said.
Brett O'Donnell is a strong No. 2 and a fourth-year starter for the Rams.
At No. 3, Brian Beck, another four-year starter, will help the Rams from an experience standpoint.
Chappell called her doubles teams interesting but likes what she has seen for the most part.
At No. 1 doubles, Rashab Humar and Danny McMurry have teamed up to do some good things. Chappell said Humar is a fine tennis player, but sometimes he has a tendency to float some volleys back to the opposing team. This habit sometimes frustrates Chappell.
“I told him he has to run a lap for every floating volley he sends back,” she said.
The No. 2 doubles team consists of Nikhil Sangh and Jacob Jeanson, who moved from Texas.
“The team is playing well,” Chappell said. “NA is always a tough out, especially early. Not all of our players are tournament players, but we work and tend to peak at the end of the season. That is what we hope for.”
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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