Norwin girls tennis team hopes playoffs are next step
By Doug Gulasy
Published: Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The Norwin girls tennis team took a step forward last season, when the Knights finished with a winning record and contended for a playoff spot.
In 2013, the team is hoping to take a bigger step — toward the top tier of the section.
“We had a good, strong season last year, and I think it's going to continue to build this year,” coach Ryan Hornick said. “The girls are aware of that, too. They don't want to be in the middle of the pack. They want to be pushing for playoff and section championships.”
As the Knights look to advance to the postseason this season, they will rely on an experienced senior class that includes returning starters Alexa Holleran, Courtney O'Connell and Jamie Barca.
Hornick said Holleran would compete at No. 1 singles again after placing fourth at the Section 1-AAA singles tournament last season.
“I think she's kind of got a personal goal that she wants to qualify for the WPIAL (singles tournament),” Hornick said. “I know that she herself has put in significant work on improving different parts of her game to get to that point.”
Barca also will primarily compete at singles for Norwin.
“She's just one of those players that it doesn't matter who you are, she'll make you work to win,” Hornick said. “She'll hit shots back that you would not think she would get to, and she hits with some power at times, too. She'll keep you on your toes.”
While O'Connell played mostly singles last year, Hornick said the senior could play a mix of singles and doubles this season.
That versatility is shared by other Norwin players, as junior Carson Snyder and sophomore Mary Hankewycz also will see time at both singles and doubles this season.
“I think I'll have two sets of lineups: one where we'll want to have the singles as solid as we possibly can and one where we want to be balanced with singles and doubles,” Hornick said.
Other players expected to contribute at doubles include senior Emily Anderson and juniors Mackenna Bressler and Autumn Miller.
Hornick said he hopes to see improved doubles play this season.
“What I'm looking for is girls who have a good all-around game at this point that can fit into what I always like to see them do as far as doubles play,” he said. “At this point, it's, ‘Who can execute the game plan the best?' Those are the ones who are going to see significant playing time.”
Hornick said he expected Franklin Regional, Hempfield, Latrobe and Penn-Trafford to have strong teams this season. He hoped his team could battle with those four for one of the three playoff spots from the section.
“If we can win a couple of those key matches (and) start off the season on the right foot, I think that'll give (the team) some confidence to keep going in that direction,” he said.
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5830, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.
- Highlands students eager to stuff a bus with Toys for Tots
- Spending increase benefits Frazer police
- Apollo Elks reopens after reaching agreement with national organization
- 5 vehicle crashes reported on wintry day in the Alle-Kiski Valley
- Mt. Pleasant boys hope to get up and down the court this season
- Motorists caught in Highland Park Bridge bottleneck
- McKeesport boys split pair of tournament games
- McKeesport wrestlers growing in numbers
- High school roundup: Connellsville girls basketball team gets 1st victory
- Kovacevic: Enough of these Steelers already
- Ringgold knocks off Charleroi in opener