Falcon girls' tennis preview
RUMFORD -- The sport of tennis has numerous peaks and valleys because the complexion of a match can be altered on each serve or volley. The degree of success usually rests on the shoulders of the individual players and their reactions to any adverse situations.
The times when things seem bleak can be aided by a positive coach and the Mountain Valley girls' tennis team welcomed back Elaine Michaud, who will hopefully make a difference. Michaud who has been the girls' coach since the merger over two decades ago, was forced to step away last spring while recovering from hip surgery.
The Lady Falcons struggled and didn’t win a single meet in 2010, so it’s only natural that one goal is to turn things around.
The cupboard is certainly not bare because several returning lettermen will be counted on to make a difference.
A trio of seniors, Alyssa Greene, Hillary Cayer and Kelcie Virgin, will battle for the singles positions. These will be determined through challenge matches throughout preseason. However, the three each have two or three years experience of court time.
Juniors Katie Billings and Stephanie Garcia will team up at first doubles again. A strong component of doubles is being able to trust and communicate with each other.
Sophomores Taylor Dickson and Venessa Swett have the inside track to form second doubles. The lone key loss was Elizabeth Lawlor, who played second doubles last year.
”We’ll be lucky to have three or four days on the court before our first match,” said Michaud. “We have a few girls coming back with experience, but we will still have a small young team.”
There are some promising newcomers, including freshmen Abby Pinkham, Elizabeth Adley and Kristin Gould. Sophomores Addy Gorham and Makaila Conley, and senior Mariah Briggs round out the roster.
“All the girls love the game,” said Michaud. “And they are willing to work hard in order for us to improve. We can only improve after an 0-12 record.”
The point of emphasis is always sportsmanship and court etiquette, which can be instilled by learning basic techniques and having a strong mental approach.