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Upper Perk Tennis Relying on Experience to Break Through in 2015
Written by Bradley Schlegel Correspondent
2015-03-18

Cooper Wright, who played at second singles last season, opened the season Tuesday playing at first singles against Quakertown. 

                Experience could be the key to Upper Perkiomen's boys tennis team ending its Pioneer Athletic Conference losing streak, according to head coach John Williamson.

                He said the good news is that the Indians (0-8 PAC-10, 0-11 overall) lost only one member of the 2014 team to graduation. 

                "We had a couple close matches last year," said Williamson, whose team opened its season Tuesday with a non-league match at Quakertown. "This year, we have nearly the entire team back. Hopefully, that experience will allow us to break through."

                Having a home court will surely help, according to senior Jim Souder.  Last season's construction of new courts at the high school "threw everyone for a loop," according to Souder.

                "My game was pretty bad," he said. "I didn't get to practice much."  Souder says his ability to hit balls at the courts over the summer has allowed his game to improve.

                Williamson describes Souder and Cooper Wright as the team's top two singles players. The coach said Justin Lugger and junior Evan Lutz will compete to play at No. 3 singles.

                According to Williamson, the loser of that showdown will be part of Upper Perkiomen's No. 1 doubles team. However, the coach said he's not sure who will be paired long-term with Lugger or Lutz.

                Williamson identified several other potential varsity performers. They include seniors Steven Christman, Ray Geiger, Austin Guess and Josh Wolfe; juniors Paul Chapelle, Devon Howe and Justin Weber as well as sophomore Jake Vogel.

                Despite the inclement weather, the Indians have gotten significant practice time, according to Williamson. He said that several members have convened several times at the Tennis Zone in Quakertown in the previous two weeks.  "A good chunk of the team went there a couple times a week during the entire winter," Williamson said.

                Souder, who played No. 3 singles last year, worked hard to improve his ground strokes, according to Williamson. 

                "Jim got to where he is by working hard," the coach said. "He hustles constantly."

                Souder said he hopes to facilitate several long points, with the ability to move back and forth from the net to the baseline.  "Hopefully I can keep a good volley going," he said.

                Qualifying for the PAC-10 tournament would be a significant accomplishment, according to Souder.  "I'm really hoping to make it," he said. "I feel more confident about my game. The competition will be stiff."

                According to Williamson, Wright, who played No. 2 singles last season, relies on solid fundamentals to compete.  The coach said his game features solid ground strokes and a consistent serve.  "Cooper moves around pretty well," Williamson said. "He probably has the most talent of anyone on the team."

                According to the coach, Wright has focused on playing more consistently by eliminating the unforced errors.  "That's the biggest thing," Williamson said.

                Lutz, in his second season of playing organized tennis, has improved significantly, according to the coach.

                Williamson said the junior, who played third doubles last season, has developed a faster serve to go along with his improved forehand and backhand shots.


 

 

 

 

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