OA Tennis Teams Hoping to Progress During 2012 Season
OA boys off to a 2-1 start, while Lady Tigers still looking for first win of 2012.
Boys’ tennis looks to progress after starting 2-1
Things seem to be heading in the right direction for the Oliver Ames boys tennis team just three matches into the 2012 season
Thanks to a strong singles lineup and improvement in the doubles game, the Tigers have started 2-1 and look to continue to progress under coach Ann Foresman.
“I’m very pleased with the start so far,” she said. “I like that we are balanced throughout the lineup and we’ve really gotten some strong contributions from our doubles tandems that helped us get the first two wins of the year.”
Against Attleboro, the team relied on the second doubles tandem of Jarrid McElligott and freshman Phillip Michalourish to squeak out the 3-2 victory. The next match against Milton, the first doubles pair of Eddie Jackson and John Lee to close out another 3-2 triumph.
To compliment the contributions from the doubles, tri-captains Pat Burke, Bobby O’Donnell and Brandon Griffin have provided a spark in singles competition.
“Everyone seems to be stepping up early on this year,” Foresman said. “We have a really deep lineup. Our singles is our strength with tri-captains Pat Burke (first singles), Bobby O’Donnell (second) and Brandon Griffin (third) leading the way, but I really like how the doubles tandems have stepped up and helped us earn a couple of wins. They have really improved from last year and I like the way this team is heading.”
While the 14-man roster might seem unusual with seven seniors and freshman, the team has bonded quite nicely just two weeks in.
That impressive unity gives Foresman another reason for optimism.
“We have seven seniors and freshmen and it’s amazing to see the seniors take them under their wing,” she said. “Their bonding experience has been amazing, and I’m really looking forward to working even more with this group.”
Girls’ tennis still eyeing first win
While the boys' continue to progress, the Lady Tigers have hit some bumps in the road during their first three matches.
Despite the slow start, head coach Claire Ponetta is hopeful that her team can overcome the 0-3 start.
“I think we’ve made a few mistakes that we can take care of early on,” Ponetta said. “We are finding out our strength and weaknesses so far. We have a lot to work on, but I’m optimistic that we’ll improve over the course of the year.”
Early on, OA has dealt with early season jitters and the short two-week timeframe to prepare for the season. But as the season continues, OA will look to gain a little more experience.
“Some of it has to deal with some nervousness to the start of the year, and some has to deal with the short time we had to prepare for the season,” Ponetta said about the team’s first few matches. “But I think we’ll be much better with a little more time.”
To help overcome the early season struggles, Ponnetta will rely upon her captains, Lauren McParland, Abby Rubin and Rachel Willar. Both McParland and Rubin are part of the first doubles pairing, while Willar has solidified the second singles spot.
Among other notable performers, sophomore Danielle Tueme and freshman Carly Orticerio occupy the first and third single slots, respectively, while sophomore Katie Orticiero and senior Alyssa Jones serve as the team’s second double pairing.