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Tribe Tennis Treating Season as Valuable Learning Experience
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2020-09-16

            With three returning seniors, the upcoming season for the Upper Perkiomen tennis team should provide a valuable learning experience, according to Coach John Williamson. He said several of the inexperienced players should learn what good competition looks like.

            "There will be some growing pains," Williamson said. "This is a good year to improve. We're going to have a lot of girls playing competitively for the first time."

            According to the coach, tennis practice in the COVID-19 era has been "a little weird." Williamson said the coaching staff, who are required to wear a facemask, are constantly reminding the players to remain distanced. The players are only permitted to use their own three balls.

            "It's not normal," he said. "We keep reinforcing those rules. Safety is the most important factor."

            After practicing for nearly two months the Indians, who lost several seniors to graduation, are scheduled to open their eight-match Pioneer Athletic Conference schedule against Phoenixville at home on Sept. 25. The Phantoms will only play singles matches due to concerns over the novel coronavirus.

            "I'm not quite sure how that is going to work," Williamson said. "I think it will be easier for the girls to distance during a match."

            Sarah Cleary, Aubrey Lutz and Katie Fehnel, the trio of 12th graders, should be in the lineup for the Tribe. Cleary is competing for one of three singles spots, according to the coach.

He said Lutz and Fehnel, who played doubles last season, will likely be paired together this fall.

            Sara Andrasek, a junior, is expected to compete with sophomore Maddy Dyer and ninth-grader Hope Thompson for the other two singles spots, according to Williamson. The coach said Thompson, who has taken some personal lessons, has displayed solid fundamentals during practice.

            "I don't think Hope has played much competitive tennis," Williamson said. "She needs to learn how to win. It's part of the learning curve."

            Several players are competing for the remaining doubles sports, according to the coach. He said they include Liz Greczek, M'Lynn Paulson, Emma Jago, Mady Frantz and Cassidy Bush.

            Williamson said the conference will have a postseason, and the PAC will hold its singles and doubles tournaments on the same day instead of on separate days.

            "Beyond that, I have no idea what district and state tournaments will look like," the coach said.

            While the Tribe continues to prepare for its initial match, the coach said he will continue to remind his players of the need to remain safe and prevent the sport from being suspended. He said the girls understand the situation.

            "I'm sure they're hearing it all the time," Williamson said.

 


 

 

 

 

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