Dirigo girls' tennis preview
DIXFIELD -- Every season provides new challenges and the Dirigo girls' tennis team must deal with some before being able to wade through the rest of the Mountain Valley Conference.
The main objective during preseason was to fill three open ladder positions. Meri Brown graduated, leaving #3 singles open. Cassidy Bigos transferred to Mt. Blue, leaving a hole at #1 doubles. Emily Ray also graduated. She played an important role filling in various ladder positions preventing the Cougars from forfeiting team points.
There will be an interesting battle for #1 and #2 singles between jr. Addy Fuller and sr. Betsy Noyes. Noyes went against the opposition’s top players and has set her sights on improving her 2011 record of 6-6 at #1 singles.
”Addy will give her a strong challenge,” said coach Art Chamberlin, who endorses the competition. “and no matter who prevails as they challenge, the team will benefit.”
Junior Ryanne Dailey, who played in 1st doubles in 2011, is vying for the #3 singles spot. She will be challenged by so. Grace Hebert and newcomer jr. Michelle Morrison.
Sr. Coral Howe (10-2 at #2 doubles with Hebert) could pair up with a number of partners, depending on the outcome to the challenges for #3 singles.
Juniors Summer McCullough and Nikole Breau return for the 2012 season and will battle for a ladder spot in doubles.
Dirigo also has several individuals who came out for tennis for the first time. They include Chinese exchange students Shuang Wu and Jiranan Jintasataporn, Christina Tubbs, Kassidy Robichaud, Katria Riggs, Sara Van Lieu, Ciara Keene and Marissa Sauer.
Chamberlin said changes will enhance the competition. Instead of playing nearby teams twice as Dirigo did in 2011, they will compete with all of the MVC teams this year.
“So I'm not sure what we will face,” said Chamberlin. “Having not seen Boothbay, Wiscasset, Lisbon, Hall Dale since 2010. I know that Hall Dale and St. Doms have excellent #1 singles.”
"Overall I'd say that we will be able to compete with all of the conference teams. If we can develop two good doubles teams to support the top three, we can finish with a winning record and challenge for a play off spot," he said.