Canfield Canfield girls tennis team is off to a good start at 4-0 after last week's two matches. Coach Rob Stephens said he is hopeful for another good year.
"Last year, we won the conference and finished the season at 19-2," Stephens said. "We're looking forward to another successful season with so many returning."
This year's team boasts 10 returning seniors in Catherine Brown, Bhamini Patel, Dominique Weldon, Amanda Freedman, Ariana Ellis, Olivia Roy, Sara Martinko, Stephanie Carrocce, Paige Zwicker, and Allison Pavlansky.
Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Canfield senior girls tennis team member Olivia Roy displays good form as she competes in doubles last week against Struthers.
Pavlansky, along with partner Gabrielle Brant, made up the Canfield doubles team that qualified for state last year. Pavlansky was a junior and Brant a senior. This year, with Brant gone, Pavlansky has moved to singles competition.
"This year I am going down the singles road," she said. "Doubles are very different from singles and require the right dynamic between two people. In singles, when you win, it is all on you. When you make a mistake, it is all on you."
Assistant coach Frank Sachire said in tennis, the team players are ranked in number order. The doubles partners are selected from the list based on how well they work together.
"We have challenge matches to determine who number 1 is, number 2, number 3, etc. in singles," Sachire said. "We have a numerical ranking for each one based upon wins and losses of these matches. In doubles we try to pair up the best combinations of girls based upon doubles skills, which are somewhat different than singles skills. How the girls play together chemistry -- is an important consideration."
Between the JV and varsity teams, Stephens has 23 members on this year's team. With the 10 seniors, he also has experience and leadership, which could easily spell another conference title and for some, another trip to state.
"Yesterday we had a big win over Jackson (Massillon), a perennial powerhouse in the Federal League and statewide," Sachire said. "We beat them 4-1."
Singles winners in the Massillon match were Pavlansky, Carrocce, and Brown. The doubles winner was the team of Zwicker and Ashley Kaleel.
Sachire also had the JV team at Jackson and they pulled out a 3-3 tie with Taya El-Hayek winning in singles and the doubles teams of Marina Sturgeon and Paige Modarelli, and Emily Ellis and Lexi Zoldan bringing in the wins.