Numbers and expectations higher for Gateway girls tennis team
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Of the eight members on the Gateway varsity girls tennis team last year, only one was lost to graduation.
The other seven have returned with experience, and they were joined by 11 others on the first day of practice Aug. 12.
Gateway head coach Rochelle Seilhamer said she hopes the returning and new talent can combine to produce a strong season in 2013.
“Those type of numbers are nice to work with,” Seilhamer said.
Seilhamer said sophomore Sammy Memije begins the season as the clear-cut No. 1 singles player for the Gators.
Memije, who joins the team this year after choosing not to play for Gateway as a freshman, recently returned from San Diego, Calif., where she competed at the USTA Girls 16s National Championships.
Memije went 1-1, falling in straight sets to the No. 17 seed in the second round.
“She did a good job at nationals,” Seilhamer said.
“There are girls there from all over the country, and it's the best of the best.”
Memije was the lone winner for Gateway in a scrimmage Saturday against South Park.
Seilhamer said there were several close single and doubles matches in the scrimmage.
“Last year, we got killed by South Park,” she said.
“It's nice to see we are competing against them. The girls are improving, but at this point in the season, most of them are still pretty raw. Some of them didn't really play much this summer.”
Senior Kristen Ku and sophomore Aishwarya Raj, Seilhamer said, have been competing to see who will settle in at No. 2 and No. 3 singles.
Freshman Stephanie Katofsky played one of the singles matches on Saturday in place of Ku, and Seilhamer said she did pretty well for her first varsity match.
Seilhamer expects Katofsky to challenge for a spot on one of the two doubles teams.
Juniors Christie Doege and Rachel Marrow played a pro-set match (first to 10, win by two) against South Park at No. 2 doubles and lost a tough 11-9 decision.
Junior Bridget Jacob and senior Val Pascoe played together at No. 1 doubles. They lost the first set and fell in a tiebreaker in set two.
“It was Val's first match ever,” Seilhamer said.
“She's really showing a drive and determination.”
Seilhamer said those four, Katofsky and juniors Shawna Kroning and Kaylee Steimer are candidates for the doubles teams, which were still unsettled as this week began.
Steimer, Seilhamer said, also could factor into one of the singles spots as the season progresses.
This year, members of the girls volleyball team also will be able to play on the tennis squad, as matches for the two sports seldom overlap. Tennis matches are in the afternoon, with volleyball matches in the evening.
“I talked it over with (athletic director) Randy Rovesti, and he said there wasn't a conflict, so he gave us the go ahead,” Seilhamer said. “It's worked out nice.”
Volleyball players such as juniors Madeline Hall and Emily Perry are playing tennis this year and are hoping to make an impact.
Gateway finished 3-11 in Section 3-AAA last year.
Section powers Fox Chapel, Shady Side Academy and Shaler qualified for the WPIAL tournament, and Shady Side finished as the runner-up to Peters Township and qualified for states.
The Gators kick off their season Friday afternoon at 3:30 with a section match against Penn Hills at the tennis courts at Gateway High School.
Gateway hits the road Monday for a 3 p.m. section match against Shaler.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or 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.
- North Allegheny girls defend state team tennis title
- Hempfield tennis caps special season
- Sewickley Academy girls tennis prevails for 4th WPIAL title