Health could be key for Southmoreland tennis team
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Sometimes things just don't go according to plan, and that was the case for the Southmoreland girls tennis team last year.
Injuries sabotaged the team's chances for success. But this year, coach Jim Kessler is hoping a healthy lineup translates to a playoff season for this group of Scotties.
“We've got a lot of kids coming back, so I expect us to be better,” Kessler said. “Our goal is to be in the top three.”
Finishing in the top three in Section 1-AA will get the Scotties into the WPIAL playoffs, but it won't be an easy task, especially considering the anticipated strength of some of the teams, including rivals Greensburg Central Catholic and Mt. Pleasant.
Still, the hope is that if Southmoreland can avoid the injury bug, it could be a team to beat. Last year, the Scotties struggled to a 5-7 record in the section, but they were dealing with injuries to players at first and third singles, as well as second doubles.
“We had a lot of injuries,” Kessler said.
A healthy lineup could go a long way toward the Scotties achieving their goals.
Look for senior Ashley Belzer to hold down the first singles position.
Belzer likes the look of this year's team.
“There is a lot of veterans on the team, and we are capable of making the playoffs this year,” Belzer said. “We just have to work hard as a team.”
Attitude is another aspect of this year's Scotties team that Belzer sees as a huge positive.
“You really have to care,” Belzer said. “Your heart has to be in it, and a lot of these girls have the heart to be the best.”
Early in the year, Belzer will be joined in the singles group by senior Marissa Luden and junior Justina Jacquillard. Luden and Jacquillard are tabbed to play second and third singles, respectively.
Sophomores Anna Sowinski and Katherine Spottedbear will get a chance at first doubles. Sophomores Taylor Robbins and Sam Lauffer are the early candidates to play at second doubles.
Many things can happen over the course of the season. However, Kessler and the Scotties don't plan on deviating from their primary objective.
“If we can get into the top three with this team, that will definitely be a good season,” Kessler said. “I really believe we have a shot.”
Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.