| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

New coach excited to see what Plum girls tennis team can do in 2013

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Gary Bills | For The Plum Advance Leader
Senior Brittany Sembower returns to the No. 1 singles position for the Plum varsity girls tennis team in 2013.
Top high school sports

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Rosemarie Stashko is no stranger to coaching tennis at the high school level, spending 15 seasons involved with programs at Penn-Trafford, Hempfield, Chartiers Valley and McKeesport.

Now, the tennis administrator at The Club in Monroeville hopes to make an impact on the girls tennis program at Plum.

Stashko was hired as the new Mustangs varsity girls coach in July when Lori Senkewitz stepped away from the position.

Senkewitz also resigned as the boys head coach, and Stashko said she's interested in that job as well.

Stashko's son, Cullen Price, is a senior and the No. 1 singles player at Penn-Trafford, and she hopes that if she is hired as the Plum boys coach, she could work something out where she could see some of her son's matches, as well.

In only a few weeks as the Plum girls head coach, Stashko said she is impressed with the talent on the 13-player squad.

“I am very excited about them,” she said. “It is a very consistent group. They all worked hard the first week. It's a deep lineup, and it was good competition for the starting positions.”

Three starters were lost to graduation from last year's team that went 6-8 in Section 3-AAA.

Those six section wins included a home-and-home sweep of Gateway.

Plum opens Section 3 action Friday at WPIAL power Fox Chapel at 3:30 p.m., and the Mustangs host Shady Side Academy on Monday at 3:30 p.m.

Shady Side Academy finished as the WPIAL runner-up in AAA in 2012 and qualified for states.

Returning to the top of the lineup is No. 1 singles player Brittany Sembower, a senior.

“Brittany is a very consistent player,” Stashko said.

“She fights her way through challenges with determination.”

Junior Ashley Alpino, a doubles player last year, has moved into the No. 2 singles spot, while senior Maria Campbell returns with varsity experience and will play No. 3 singles.

Senior Danielle Davido and junior Emily Matisko are at No. 1 doubles, with sophomores Angela Campbell and Emily Yester pairing up at No. 2 doubles.

Sembower made the quarterfinals of the Section 3-AAA singles tournament last season, while Maria Campbell, Davido and Alpino played in the quarterfinals of the section doubles tournament.

Yester gained some varsity experience early in her freshman season while filling in for the now-graduated Christen Kraemer when Kraemer was out of the lineup because of a shoulder injury.

Stashko said sophomore Peyton Clair and junior Kaylie Gessler have looked good in early-season workouts and possibly could challenge for time in the varsity lineup as the season progresses.

“We played a lot of matches last week, and the girls worked hard to earn their starting positions,” Stashko said.

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Armstrong escapee caught; murder charges pending
  2. Man attempts to take firearm onto plane in Pittsburgh; tenth attempt this year
  3. Penn Hills grandmother to stand trial for fatally stabbing man with kitchen knife
  4. Heyl: Longtime disc jockey Jimmy Roach to turn dismissal into brighter times
  5. Pirates bolster bullpen by trading for former closer Soria
  6. McKeesport tattoo artist will stand trial for allegedly beating man to death
  7. Judge rules McCullough guilty of taking money from elderly woman’s estate
  8. SWAT standoff on Pittsburgh’s North Side ends peacefully
  9. Steelers’ reserve quarterbacks vie to secure spot behind Roethlisberger, Gradkowski
  10. ATI to benefit from WTO ruling against China in steel case
  11. Steelers stress improved conditioning in attempt to play past injuries