Share This Page

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

| Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
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.

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 mlove@tribweb.com.

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.