Green girls tennis team looking to repeat as league champs
GREEN — Last year, the Green High School girls tennis team finished with an undefeated record in the Suburban League and won the league title for the first time in the program’s history.
Head coach Sue Ciccolini said Green is looking to repeat as league champions this year. However, she noted, her team will need to work just as hard — if not harder — to accomplish that goal.
“We have already lost to Highland this season, but if we stay focused and consistent, we have a good chance of winning the remainder of our Suburban League matches and the tournament,” she stated Aug. 27. “The goal for this season is to again win the Suburban League by coming out strong with the rest of our matches and winning the tournament on Sept. 15. We have been mixing up our doubles teams to get the best results and will definitely come on stronger meeting up with Highland at the tournament.”
The strength of this year’s team, Ciccolini said, is the play of the singles players: Danielle Beyes at first singles, Kristen Starkey at second singles and Jenna Jamil at third singles.
“Danielle is a strong, a [U.S. Tennis Association] tournament player and district qualifier from last year,” she said. “Kristen and Jenna, both juniors, played doubles last year but have worked on their singles game during the offseason to make them each very consistent singles players. They love the singles game and are a great fit for those positions.”
Ciccolini said Beyes, who is a sophomore, is “the player to watch this year.”
“She trains year-round, attends special conditioning camps and takes her tennis very seriously,” the coach said. “Hopefully, she will make it out of the sectionals and get to districts again this year. She definitely has her eye on becoming a state qualifier in the future.”
One area where Ciccolini said she wants to see improvement is the play of the doubles teams.
“We have two veteran, senior players — Alex Buser and Caitlyn McCausland — who are each paired with new girls to the varsity — Addie Hujar and Rachel Bindreiter,” the coach said. “They both are new to doubles, so we need to work on strategy and being aggressive at the net.”
Buser and McCausland serve as the team’s co-captains.
“Both Alex and Caitlyn are doing a great job in leading the team and helping them all get along well,” the coach said. “They are each paired with a new player and are helping them with movement on the court, as well as confidence. They have been planning many team-bonding events and even had a spirit week for the conditioning week, which is always a strenuous, hot week of tennis.”
Ciccolini said she has been pleasantly surprised by the play of Hujar and Bindreiter.
“Addie is a junior coming up from two years on the junior varsity team. Rachel is a freshman that we really never knew about,” the coach said. “Both girls have similar games in that they are very consistent and have deep groundstrokes that set up their partners at the net. We have been working on some doubles strategy with them, since they were more used to singles and they are quickly learning net play.”
In addition, the team has a foreign exchange student who will be playing on the varsity team.
“She just arrived over the weekend. Her name is Marissa Vermeer and she is from the Netherlands,” Ciccolini said. “She plays a lot of tennis in her hometown, but in the Netherlands they don’t have school teams, only community teams. She also is not used to playing on our surface. In the Netherlands, she plays on gravel courts or artificial grass courts. All of our coaches had a chance to meet her and play with her over the weekend. She will be a nice addition to our team and has been talking to some of the girls through Facebook.”
Ciccolini is in her ninth year of coaching.
“Last year, I had my 100th win and first Suburban League title, so I am excited that this year will be just as rewarding,” she said. “My junior varsity coach is Jan Hicks, and my volunteer assistant is Julie DeLuca. Both of these ladies are of tremendous value to our tennis program at Green.”
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