Five freshman leading Green girls tennis team
GREEN — According to head coach Sue Ciccolini, the 2014 Green High School girls tennis program features the most athletes in school history.
“We have 27 girls and four teams. We have Varsity A, Varsity B, Junior Varsity A and Junior Varsity B,” she said. “The strength of this year’s team is depth. I am extremely blessed to have such a talented group of players.”
Last year, the team finished 6-13 overall and in fourth place in the Suburban League. Injuries had a major impact on the team, Ciccolini said, as two of Green’s returning lettermen were injured and out the entire season. This year, the team’s depth has played a key role in a successful start for the varsity squad.
“We have already improved our record from last year, as we are 8-0. Our two returning lettermen are back and we have five strong freshmen on board,” the coach said Aug. 24. “Our season so far has been terrific. We won the Medina Doubles tournament. We came in first place on all courts against seven other teams. We only lost one set the entire day. We brought a trophy and medals for the school. For such an amazing performance, we were nominated for team of the week in Ohio and won it last week from JJHuddle.com. We have won two matches thus far in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association tournament and will go to the next round next week.”
Ciccolini said she has been “waiting for a team like this.”
“Each court holds players that are committed, dedicated, focused and experienced,” she stated. “Even though I have five freshmen on the team, these five freshmen are not beginners. They are a group of ladies who are tournament players and who practice weekly throughout the year. My two returning lettermen are also tournament players who have confidence on court and are leaders to the freshmen.”
Danielle Beyes is the only senior on the team, Ciccolini said.
“She is the captain and is back this year after sitting out last season with a shoulder injury,” the coach said. “She attended rehab and strength and conditioning all last year to work on her shoulder strength and is back this year playing first singles and stronger than ever. Her strokes are amazing. She is playing smarter, moving her opponents and going for deep corner shots with lots of pace. Danielle was a district qualifier in 2012, and her goal this year is to make it to Columbus.”
The team’s only junior is Rachel Bindreiter, who Ciccolini said is playing strong on the second doubles team.
“She is back from a torn ACL [anterior cruciate ligament] injury in 2012,” the coach said. “Rachel is consistent as always and paired with the aggressive Sophie Kestner at the net. They make a dynamic duo.”
In addition to Kestner, the freshmen on the varsity team are: twins Maria and Anne Zivick, who are playing second and third singles, respectively, and MacKenzie Cavalier and Emily Capeta, who play first doubles for Green.
“The Zivick twins bring so much skill and talent to our team as they continue to dominate at second and third singles, winning all of their matches and dropping very few games,” Ciccolini said. “MacKenzie Cavalier and Emily Capeta are bringing lots of excitement to their court. They have had some real nail biters so far — some three sets — but they buckle down and come out on top with the win. MacKenzie Cavalier has been a good surprise for me this season. I knew about her, but didn’t really know how strong of a player she is.”
With such a young team this season, Ciccolini said, maintaining focus will be a top priority.
“As a team, we need to take each match as it comes and not look ahead too much. We need to keep our focus and play our best tennis in each and every match,” she said. “We need to focus on winning all of our Suburban League matches, giving us a good seeding going into the tournament on Sept. 20, and then come out on top at the tournament. Our goal is to win the Suburban League this year, going out with a bang, and to be confident heading into the Federal League next year.”
Ciccolini has been the Green girls varsity tennis coach for 11 years.
“My JV [junior varsity] coaches this year are Julie DeLuca and Denise Fehr,” she said. “They have stepped up this year from being volunteer coaches and are now sharing the JV coach position. Jan Hicks, my JV coach for the last 10 years, moved to Seattle this summer. It was nice having these ladies come on board. They both have been helping with the tennis program for many years and bring a lot of expertise and enthusiasm to our team.”
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