Moss, Trbovich, Rascatti settle into top singles roles for Thomas Jefferson
There are five seniors on the Thomas Jefferson girls' tennis team's starting ladder of seven players.
But the team's overall lack of varsity playing experience makes the season outcome hard to predict for veteran head coach Chuck Correll.
“We're not experienced, but we have talented players,” Correll said.
Correll has led the Lady Jaguars into the WPIAL playoffs for the past seven years. He'd like to keep that streak going in 2013.
Section rival South Park will be the team to beat again this season, along with Carlynton, Keystone Oaks and Fort Cherry.
Senior Samantha Moss will play first singles again this year.
Correll hopes her strong backhand and consistent play will be the difference in her matches, but knows she will face some stiff section singles competition this year.
Kalei Trbovich, a junior, will take over at second singles for the Lady Jaguars.
“Kalei was my super-sub last year. She had to wait to see if someone was sick or injured and play in their spot,” Correll said. “She is developing.”
Freshman whiz Natalie Rascatti will play third singles this season.
“Natalie is an anomaly,” Correll said. “It's really unusual when you get someone who is ready to play varsity as a freshman.”
Olivia Jones and Alexandra Bartosch, both seniors, will take over the first doubles slot. They bring the most experience to the team. Two of their strengths are their net play and overheads.
The second doubles tandem will consist of seniors Tara Conley and Tara Napolitano. Conley's strong first serve and Napolitano's speed and solid baseline play should make them a formidable duo, according to their head coach.
Others also looking to make an impact for the Lady Jaguars this season include seniors Chrissy Damico, Kaitlyn Harrold and Theresa Sarracco.
“They have all challenged for the second doubles spot. They will all contribute this season,” Correll said.
“We have a lot of new players in new positions. The team lacks experience but not ability. It is hard for me to predict how well we'll do this year. As we become more confident, and become more consistent, we will be competitive in our section.”
Other freshman prospects in the program include Rachel Gress and Amanda Mitko
“There is some real potential with this freshman class,” Correll said.
Jennifer Goga is a freelance writer.