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Green boys tennis coach pleased with team’s progress

4/20/2017 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

GREEN — First-year Green High School boys tennis head coach Mike DiAntonio said he has been happy with the improvement his team has shown during the early part of the season.

“We have a very young team — four freshmen, five sophomores, four juniors and four seniors. The varsity has three freshmen who are playing in their first high school matches,” he said. “At this point, I am happy with the improvement we are making, and I think we are growing a little bit with each match we play.”

Despite the team’s overall youth, DiAntonio said his team does have a good amount of experience.

“We are fortunate that 10 of the 17 boys have had one to two years’ experience playing varsity or junior varsity tennis,” he said. “Then, there’s our three varsity singles players, who are young but talented tennis players. Lastly, we have our four seniors who have good leadership qualities: Jared Kungle, one of our captains, who plays on our varsity second doubles team; Josh Norris, who plays doubles; and Dylan Vinciguerra and Spencer Papp, who both play doubles.”

The juniors on this year’s team, DiAntonio said, are: Matt Hippich, who plays second doubles; co-captain Adam Moresea, who plays first doubles; and Jake Buchanan and Josh Wiggins, who play first and second singles on the junior varsity team and also play doubles on the varsity team at times.

“We have three freshmen who all play singles on our varsity team: Logan Langovsky at No. 1, Dylan Westmeyer at No. 2 and Ramiro Garza at No. 3. Then, we have Prashanth Ragunranthan, a sophomore, who partners with Adam on varsity at No. 1 doubles. These four players are young and they work very hard and I expect big things from all of them this year and especially over the next few years,” the coach said. “Completing our overall team roster, we have four additional sophomores — Daniel DeLuca and Ian Kinaitis, who played last year, and first-year players Ryan Phillips and Thomas Rooney — and Alex Castner, a freshman.”

DiAntonio said he has found this year’s team to be “very easy to coach.”

“These boys all have great potential and just need to continue to work hard to improve their game. I’m very excited with what I’ve seen from this group of boys and looking forward to the next few years,” he said. “I have a great group of boys on the team, and that makes my job a bit easier. I also have two assistant coaches, Joe Altier and Julie DeLuca, who also make my job easier. I think the three of us all want the same thing, to help teach these boys to play better tennis and to have fun while doing it. Tennis is a game that you can play all your life and I hope these boys will do that. The coaches are all proof of that.”

According to DiAntonio, Green is hitting an important stretch of this year’s schedule.

“Well, we have nine matches in the next two weeks. Then we have the Federal League tournament on April 29. This will be a real test for us, especially the young players. I hope to see the team play strong, gain some consistency and win a good percentage of these matches. Learn from each match, work on our weaknesses and prepare for the next match,” he said. “I feel we should be able to win about 40 percent of our matches this year. We are in the Federal League, which usually has three to four quality tennis teams each and every year, and we also participate in the Northeast Ohio Tennis Association, which includes some very good competition from all around Northeast Ohio. Teams like Walsh Jesuit, Aurora, Beachwood, Orange and others. We have a very tough schedule this year. I do think that we will end up in fourth place in the Federal League.”

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