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Cougar girls' tennis preview
DIXFIELD -- In tennis, the amount of court time received can prove to be invaluable and that’s what the Dirigo girls' team is banking on for the upcoming season. It’s a new campaign, however, there will be a mixture of veterans and new faces on the roster.
The Lady Cougars took their share of hits from the other Mountain Valley Conference last spring. It produced four wins, but the players realize that they have the skills to make a difference.
"Dirigo girls will need a boost from several girls with limited match play experience to approach the 11-3 mark of the 2012 squad,” said coach Art Chamberlin, who is slated to retire after his 32nd year.
The Cougars return four, led by seniors, Addy Fuller, Ryanne Dailey and Michelle Morrison, and junior Grace Hebert, who will be the backbone of the team in leadership and experience. Dailey and Fuller are the top academically, in the graduating class.
Fuller, a fourth year player, has the inside track to be at No. 1, after having shared time with Betsy Noyes last spring. The initial ladder will be Fuller, Dailey and Hebert.
New to tennis this spring showing promise and keeping with her athletic family’s tradition is junior Lindsy Crutchfield. The first doubles will be Morrison and
Crutchfield, while the second is still really open but looking more and more like Nichole Breau and Ciara Keene, probably that one will change a lot early on. Crystina Tubbs, Caitlin Gallant, Sara Van Lieu, and Kristina Feige (German exchange student) will be competing for those remaining ladder spots.
Unseen but ever present on the bench is the strong Dirigo tennis tradition carried on this year by two second generation players Grace Hebert (Nicki Hebert’s daughter) and Lindsy Cruthchfield, ( Kathy Crutchfield’s daughter).
Also, in RSU10, only 10 players came out at Mountain Valley, this year. Taylor Dickson will be at number one singles, after having competed at third singles in 2012.
The remaining players will challenge for spots as soon as the team get out on the courts. Among the losses, veteran doubles partners Katie Billings and Stephanie Garcia to graduation.
As always, the points of emphasis; “the code” (sportsmanship, court etiquette) basic techniques and mental approach. These are being stressed during preseason.