Graduation opens way for new faces in top spots Teams have been forced to shuffle their lineups

Tennis preview

March 22, 1998|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The tennis season begins this week in Carroll County, and while area coaches all tried to maintain the usual preseason optimism, most also wanted to talk about a slightly different subject -- graduation.

Teams in all sports lose players every year, but graduation tore through many of the county tennis teams like a tornado this season. Most of the top players from last year are gone, leaving the county coaches shaking their heads as the new season begins.

"It's never happened where everyone loses at the same time and everybody's rebuilding at the same time," said North Carroll co-coach John Lynam, who runs the team with Mike Klingenberg. "This year, there is no dominant factor in the whole mix."

Westminster's boys and the Liberty's girls try to take county titles for a third straight season, and they were ripped by graduation. The Owls lost county Player of the Year Steve Flora and senior Danny Piper moves up to No. 1 singles with Kush Javia and junior Ian Weiland going for the two spot.

Senior Adam Reese and sophomore Greg Halstead are returnees and coach Fran McCullin said they will play somewhere in doubles. The Owls girls, coached by Mick Ferraro, should have senior Christina Miserandino at No. 1 singles and freshman Christie Stansfield at No. 2. Several players are returning to this team that should be closer to .500 this year.

The Liberty girls also were hit by graduation, but two-time county champion and player of the year Shen Poehlman is back at No. 1 singles. The senior should be a favorite for a third county title, and the Lions are looking for help from sophomore Anna Repetti in some singles and doubles.

Juniors Chrissy Feiler and Carly Ferguson will play together in doubles, as should sophomores Amanda Bange and Rebecca Bradley. Junior Leigh Symmonds and sophomores Kelly Ferguson and Laura Moreau will help make up the other doubles team for coach Bruce Damasio.

Damasio's boys team has Andy Mangle returning at No. 1 -- he was third in the county last year -- and sophomore Jeremiah Poehlman should help at singles. Senior Ryan Smith and sophomore Steve Vizanko should be the top doubles team, followed by freshman Justin Fahey with junior Adam Youssi and sophomores Mike Young and Jim Fiori.

"We have a nice blend [for boys and girls], and I like our chances," said Damasio. "There hasn't been this much of a turnover in a long time."

For North Carroll's boys, senior Craig Gordon and junior Russell Iseminger should see time at singles. In doubles, juniors Ted Redmer and Justin Zukowski could form a team as might senior Matt Kallenberger and freshman Matt Lowe. Junior Josh Gozelanczyk and freshmen Shawn Czkakowski, Dan Burden and Andy Bowman all should see time at doubles.

Junior Jessica Bradford returns at No. 1 singles for the girls and classmate Charis Fulton is at two. The county doubles championship team of Brooke Foster (junior) and sophomore Heather Easter should be back in top form. Junior Tracy Golden also will contribute somewhere for the Panthers. She combined with Shawn Martin for the county mixed doubles crown, but he graduated.

South Carroll also has a doubles championship duo returning, with seniors Derek Favreau and Andrew Taylor back. Classmate Zachary Ballard also will contribute for the Cavaliers, who went 9-7 last year but have some good talent this season.

The girls' side has a lot of questions for coaches Jim Carnes and Pam Boan, but junior Alex Koustenis is back at No. 1 singles. Junior Veronica Wolfhand and senior Tina Miller plus junior Megan Kispert all should contribute.

Francis Scott Key may have the most experience back. Kyle Green returns and will help as should seniors Mike Null and Mike Sandrich for coach Derrik Hess. Coach Donna Baker's girls have some more experienced players back.

Sophomore Charlotte Gowen returns at No. 1 singles. The doubles team of Laura Caprarola and Annie McKenzie (both seniors and together for four years) will be a plus, just like the duo of Kelly Whitfield and Nicole Gillis (seniors and 12-0 last year at No. 3 doubles) and the pairing of seniors Marie Legg and Erin Dougherty.

Pub Date: 3/22/98

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