Connellsville girls tennis will rely on returning letterwinners
TribLIVE Sports Videos
In terms of wins and losses, Connellsville girls tennis coach William Ricks doesn't have a lot to build upon. But what Ricks does have is a group of dedicated players who have committed themselves to improving each time they step on the court.
“They are enthusiastic about coming back,” said Ricks, entering his sixth season. “The girls have been here before, and I'm looking for them to step up.”
The Falcons finished 2-12 last year, and the competition in Section 1-AAA won't be easy. However, Connellsville is entering the 2013 season with a wealth of experience. Eleven seniors dot the roster, and five of those are returning letterwinners.
Seniors Kasey McIntosh, Justine Waggel and Nicole Carnes are three of those letterwinners, and in the early part of the season, Ricks has penciled them in to play at first through third singles, respectively.
Seniors Haley Lowry and Hailey Shannon are also letterwinners and could play a key role. Seniors Rachel Oplinger and Rachel Shepler are getting the early look at first doubles, while seniors Alex Burger and Lowry are a preliminary doubles unit.
Ricks also has a number of underclassmen, which should serve the program well in the future. Those underclassmen likely will be using this season as a learning experience.
“I want them to hang in there because they'll have a better chance of starting next year,” Ricks said.
As for this year, Ricks will be depending on his experienced players to lead the way, which will allow him to work more closely with the team's younger members.
Ricks said although he does have a preliminary plan in terms of a lineup leading into the section portion of the schedule, there could be a few adjustments.
“They are all pretty much on equal terms, so we just have to see who will be more aggressive and chase balls down,” Ricks said.
Ricks is hoping last year's tough season will serve to motivate the girls this year.
“They should be tired of losing,” Ricks said. “They just have to go out and execute and do what they have to do. I can't do it for them. They should be more self-confident this year.”
Waggel, who will be one of the starters, is displaying that confidence.
“I think we are capable of achieving a winning season,” Waggel said. “If we stay calm and play our best, we are capable of winning.”
Connellsville will host an exhibition match Thursday against Mt. Pleasant.
Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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.
- Steelers cut linebacker Kion Wilson, sign cornerback Toler
- Five questions facing Steelers entering training camp
- Motorcycle runs off road in Butler County, kills Shaler man
- Suspended Penn-Trafford teacher charged with stalking student
- Route 22 accident in Monroeville causes traffic jam
- Crash closes one lane of westbound I-376 in Beaver County
- North Huntingdon woman charged with threatening to burn down officer’s house
- Pirates’ Melancon has been consistent since moving into closer’s role
- Carjacked vehicle hits Philly crowd, kills 2 children
- Small plane goes down near Grove City
- Amazon.com distribution center planned for Pittsburgh’s West End