Norton girls tennis coach looking for consistency from young team
NORTON — Norton High School girls tennis head coach Angie Carretta said the primary focus of this season will be about getting experience for the team’s younger players and maintaining consistent improvement.
“All of our improvement this year is to get our new players varsity playing time so they can improve and be ready for next season,” she said. “We have a fairly young team, with even less experience, including a few promising sophomores and freshmen. They’ll be able to get varsity playing time so they can get used to the wear and tear of playing three or four matches a week. They’ll want to get lessons over the winter, and hopefully they’ll come back next summer with a vengeance.”
The top goal for this year’s team is “consistency,” Carretta said.
“I’m trying to get us to be consistent at every position,” she stated. “I’ve played different players at different positions in almost every match. For most of the lineup, I’m waiting for somebody to step up and be consistent and get that spot.”
Carretta said two players have started to lock into positions this season.
“Our veterans are senior first singles Ashlyn Schmitt and junior first doubles player Heather Kitchens,” the coach said. “Schmitt is the team’s leader, co-captain and best and most experienced player. Kitchens is our other team captain and our best and most experienced doubles player.”
According to Carretta, a number of underclassmen have stepped up this season.
“We are playing sophomores Hanna Kraus and Natalie Miller at varsity, and they have responded well to playing tennis at the varsity level. They joined tennis instead of volleyball, and we are happy to have them, as they have tremendous potential,” the coach said. “Freshman Sara Whitaker and freshman Jessica Thomas are playing at the second doubles position on varsity and have responded to the call. They play well together and get better every time they play. I expect them to contribute a lot to our program during their high school career.”
Whitaker is one player Carretta said has been a surprise.
“She’s a worker and a hustler,” the coach said. “She gets to every ball in doubles, and she knows where to put the ball and, more importantly, where not to put it. Plus, she’s a wonderful young lady.”
This is Carretta’s 21st season overall and her seventh season at Norton. Her assistant coach is Phil Seenes.
“Our goal is to always give 100 percent effort and improve and work together and represent Norton High School with class,” Carretta said.
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