Lady Scotties to rely on singles players
As the Southmoreland girls tennis team opens the 2005 season, John Ciarimboli has several sure things and several unknowns facing his squad.
The Lady Scotties are a team that will have success based on the play of the top three singles players.
Junior Lara Schenck, senior Jill Hamill and junior Amanda Lebe will be the Lady Scotties' first, second and third singles players, respectively.
"Those three singles players know that their job is to go out and get the points," Ciarimboli said. "They are very experienced players, and they know the game. We are looking for solid play from the singles players, and they are who we will depend on."
Of course, the doubles teams will be important as well. Ciarimboli noted that many girls are in the running for one of the four positions that make up the two starting doubles squads.
"We have a lot of girls that are right around the same ability level," Ciarimboli said.
The Southmoreland coach pointed out that several girls have stepped up and figure to be regular fixtures in doubles action.
"One key doubles player will be (junior) Gena Hart," Ciarimboli said. "She'll be at number one doubles, and we'll rotate different partners with her."
Ciarimboli noted that sophomore Lindsay Skovira also figures to see plenty of doubles playing time.
"Lindsay has shown a lot of potential, and we'll probably use her in every match," Ciarimboli said.
Last year, the Lady Scotties finished tied for third in Section 1-AA, one spot out of a playoff position.
This year, Hamill, a senior captain, is hopeful that the team can take the next step.
"We haven't seen much of our competition yet, but last year's team was strong, and we have a lot of players back from that team, so we should do well," Hamill said.
The Lady Scotties feature a 45-player roster, and Ciarimboli is excited not only for this year, but also for the future of the program.
"These kids have impressed me with their desire," Ciarimboli said. "They are working really hard, and I am really impressed with the young kids. Tennis is definitely alive at Southmoreland."
Ciarimboli isn't about to make any predictions concerning the team's chances of making the playoffs this year, though he did note that the girls have some swagger when they step on the court.
"I think these girls have a lot of self-confidence," Ciarimboli said.
The Lady Scotties will be in action today at Derry.