By Brody Patmore
Red Lion Girls Tennis is a very young team. So young in fact that half the girls on varsity have never started before.
“I specifically look for hard work, maximum effort, and players who are not complacent. I want to see that they are willing to learn and listen to the advice and strategies that I give them,” Coach Ryan Small said.
The team has a lot of freshmen, with a lot of potential. They finished their regular season with a record of 5-7.
By Helen Zeidman
Despite multiple setbacks, the girls tennis team had a successful season.
With a total of 11 players, the girls tennis team is not one of the biggest teams. The team is tiny compared to Dallastown’s team of thirty players. But they do have a lot of determination and won matches against key opponents such as Spring Grove, West York, and Northeastern. Many other matches were close to victory, like the score of 3-4 against Kennard-Dale and Susquehannock.
“I think the season went well,” Ryan Small, the team’s coach, said. “We grew as a team and individuals grew as well.”
The team ended with a record of 5-7, which is respectable considering that they spent the first two weeks, which ended up being five matches, of the season without their number one seeded player Kristina Snyder.
Snyder, a home schooled sophomore and a new walk-on for the team, performed well with most of her matches. She made up for her absence in the beginning of the season with consistent matchplay that earned her victories during her first year on the team.
The team’s only senior, Alison Miller, the second seed on the team, finished her last year with the Lions on a strong note. Her career with the tennis team over the course of her four years was quite impressive, with three of those years being on varsity.
Junior Tori Austin, the third seeded player on the team, had a season full of over-time three set matches. She managed to fight through the two-hour long matches to secure multiple wins for the team.
By fighting through a tough start at the beginning of the season, Snyder and Austin earned a qualification for the county tournament as a doubles team. Snyder also qualified for singles in the county tournament. Austin qualified as an alternate for the singles tournament.
Coach Ryan Small is happy with his first complete year of coaching the team. “The girls on the team are just great, they try their best and have a good sense of humor. They always remain positive, which is why I love coaching them.” Small said.
By Helen Zeidman
Last year, the girls’ tennis team was a group of eight girls, most of whom were new to the team and the sport.
This year, they are aiming to make a racket with their larger team and more experienced players.
Ryan Small, the new coach of the team, has high hopes for the girls this year. “I think we have a good group of girls this season and our varsity players have more experience this year,” Small said. “Four out of the five on varsity were on varsity last year.”
Along with their more experienced players, the total number of players on the team jumped from eight to eleven. Considering the loss of three ladies from last year, the team has made a full recovery in numbers.
The top five players, who are considered varsity, are as follows: Kristina Snyder, a homeschooled sophomore entering her first year on the team, Alison Miller, a senior in her fourth year on the team, and three juniors, Tori Austin, Helen Zeidman, and Emily Zeidman.
With a new team to work with, Small has many goals for his team, including focusing on the basic singles play. “I want to improve our singles play and work on becoming the toughest team, mentally and physically,” Small said.
Doubles play is also an important part of any tennis match, and Coach Small aims to help the team with their doubles skills too. “I also really want to improve our doubles teams to make them more aggressive at the right times,” Small said. “Doubles is the key to a good many matches, so if we can control the net and be aggressive, we have a chance in any close matches.”
Ultimately, Small’s goal is to have a better season and post-season than last year. “I want our record to improve and I want more of our girls to get into the county tournament,” Small said.
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