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Coventry girls tennis team continuing to make strides

8/22/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Shawn Strode

COVENTRY — Coventry girls tennis head coach Heather Peterson said the goal of this year’s season will be continuous improvement.

“Our team needs to focus on getting better each and every match,” she said. “We are a young team — consisting of four juniors, four sophomores and three freshmen — so I want to see improvement each and every point, every game and every match. We need to play with heart and not give up if we are down.”

According to Peterson, the strength of this year’s squad should be the strength of its doubles teams.

“I have four juniors and a sophomore rotating in those positions. That is where most of our experience is,” she said. “Our strongest player is junior Kayla Jackson. She is quick and athletic and is like a backboard. She can get to almost any ball with her athleticism. She will play most of her matches at first doubles with returning [junior] letter-winner Anne Marie Blankenship. The two of them played together last season, as well. Kayla will also potentially play some first singles in nonleague matches.”

Juniors Kailey Lushes and Alexis Cordea will play second doubles, Peterson stated.

“Kailey is a third-year varsity player. She has made strong improvements over the past year in both her forehand and her backhand,” the coach said. “Alexis is a softball player and this is her first year playing tennis. She has improved since day one and worked herself right into the varsity lineup. She is definitely an asset to the team this year.”

A pair of underclassmen will play key roles for the varsity team this season, Peterson noted.

“Sophomore Allison Cooper will also see varsity time at second doubles, and sophomore Amanda Michaels will play first or second singles the majority of the season,” she said. “Amanda is probably the most improved player from last year. She’s going to have a lot of tough matches, being young, but she’s been real competitive so far. She has made improvements in every single match. Allison is primarily a doubles player. Her strength is in her serve and her net play.”

Others who will see varsity action this season include sophomore Nicole Miller and freshman Cori Bean.

“I expect to see them making improvements match after match,” said Peterson.

Last season, Coventry finished with a 2-9 record in the Portage Trail Conference.

“We finished sixth out of seven in the Portage Trail Conference. Both wins were against Crestwood,” the coach said. “We are hoping to improve our record in the win category and just be more competitive with teams.”

Peterson, who is in her fourth year as the girls tennis head coach, said her realistic goal for this season is to get at least five wins as a team.

“Realistically, I just want to improve in the win category,” she stated. “We’re still young, with no seniors, so having the whole team back next year will be good.”

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