Coming into the 2015 season, the girl’s tennis program will look to a younger squad to lead them deep into the playoffs after losing five seniors in 2014 to graduation.
“We lost our number one player, Amanda Adams, but fourth-year senior Jenna Cuccinota is going to most likely be our first singles this year,” second-year head coach Matt Perekupka said. “We will look for her to be a leader for us on and off the court. Tori Robinson, who is a junior, will play first doubles and third singles. She is more of a vocal leader for our team.”
The Pirates fell to Shore, the eventual champion, 4-1 in the first round of the Central, Group 1 Tournament in 2014.
As usual, girl’s tennis will play a very tough schedule in 2015 and Perekupka welcomes it.
“You want to compare yourself now, late in August, to how we are at the end of the season in October. I’m sure we are going to take our lumps against the Moorestown’s and R.V.’s, but we have a very competitive schedule against Holy Cross and New Egypt. We want to compare ourselves to those close matches that come up on our schedule.”
Perekupka pointed out how hard his girls worked during a match against New Egypt last year, coming back from down 0-2 to win the match 3-2 late in the day.
“We lost our first two games of a match against New Egypt, so we were down 0-2, and it looked bleak,” Perekupka said. “Everyone was trailing as I did my rounds and as it progressed, it seemed like everybody was coming back. We won the second set and around 7:30-7:45 at night we won that match based off our second doubles team. It was a confidence booster for us because we were going through a rough part of the season. It really carried momentum with us through the remainder of the season.”
With five seniors graduating after the 2014 season, there are plenty of spots available on varsity this year.
“I told the girls, we have a lot of spots open for varsity. Competition among players is always a good thing for a coach. Whoever starts on varsity needs to work hard to keep that spot and those who aren’t on varsity need to compete to win a spot. The competition among the people on the team right now is a big thing we have going for us. We have a lot of young talent, but that young talent has to step up and keep their spot on the team.”
The Pirates open the 2015 season on Wednesday, September 9 at Burlington City at 3:30 pm.