Hempfield girls tennis wins another section title
By Brian Graham
Published: Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
The Hempfield girls tennis team's lineup card was noticeably different when the season began in August to when it ended on Oct. 9.
But what didn't change was coach Jerry Way's intent on leading his young squad to its third section title in four years. The latter came to fruition after the Spartans finished 13-1 in Section 1-AAA to lock up another banner for the school.
“Boy this season was great,” Way said. “I had girls come in and play at different spots in the lineup and play well and each of them had a hand in the overall team's success.”
Despite being unable to replicate its regular season success in the WPIAL tournament, Way said his underclassmen gained valuable experience and egos were held in check as roster spots were swapped across the board.
Hampton beat Hempfield, 4-1, in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAA team tournament Oct. 9.
“Am I upset that we couldn't get a win in the WPIAL playoffs?,” Way thought. “No. Disappointed? I'd say yes to that because I know how hard and how well this group played all season.”
As the season closed, Way's roster was built with junior Madison DeBone — the third place finisher in the Section 1-AAA singles tournament — at first singles, freshmen Maura Sackett in the second spot and Annie Iezzi as the No. 3.
The tandems of sophomore Alaina DeGregory and junior Aubree Brown were the first doubles team with seniors Emily Bevington and Amanda Jepsen at second doubles
“During practice I saw some instances where I thought maybe a girl could move to play doubles with some of the experience they gained or move someone who had stepped it up into a singles role,” Way said. “Looking back, we can say it was a good decision, but a move like that isn't guaranteed.”
Certainly moving a freshman into a singles role while bumping a senior to a doubles role would create tension in the locker room, right? Not so
Way said the girls understood that the moves were done not as punishment or promotion. Rather they were done with the intent of doing what's best for the team.
“It was easy for me to make those changes because I knew it wouldn't cause any controversies between anyone,” he said. “Each girl that was in a new spot looked at it as ‘OK this is my job.' ”
While Way is not ready to set goals for next year, that natural progression should seem obvious.
“I hope they keep the same mentality that every match has to be played in that match and not to look ahead,” Way said. “After that, I hope the experience we've gained will help us put a dent in the WPIAL tournament.”
Brian Graham is a freelance writer.
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.
- Panthers free agent safety headed to Steelers
- Orpik rises to occasion as Penguins take down Capitals once again
- NHL notebook: Stars’ Peverley stabilized after heart scare
- Burrell sophomore forward saves season
- NFL notebook: Dolphins trade Martin to 49ers
- Figure skating coach dies in crash at Washington County Airport
- Penguins notebook: Letang skating, but no return set
- Westmoreland County considers software upgrade
- MLB notebook: Orioles Machado disappointed with contract
- Starkey: No shame for Robert Morris
- Miscues cost Karns City girls in PIAA playoff loss