Hornets girls' varsity tennis building confidence

By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., Apr. 29, 2011
Natalie Soto serves the ball during practice. Photos by Frances Taylor.
Natalie Soto serves the ball during practice. Photos by Frances Taylor.

“We've lost a lot of players from last year, so this season we are rebuilding the team,'' said coach Deanna Breton of the East Hartford High School girls' varsity tennis team. “We've also had two of our best players out sick for a while. We have a lot of freshman and some players with no skills whatsoever.''

With the state championships coming up in June, Breton said the players are on a crash course for some to learn the necessary skills, and for more skilled players to focus more on strategy. “I'm trying to teach some how to play, which is not easy to do during the season, and with the rest I am trying to get them to understand strategy,'' she said.

In recent meets, the team lost to Bulkeley High School 3-4, and to RHAM 0-7. Their most recent meet was against Rocky Hill. “It was 3-4, so we almost won that one,'' Breton said. “We only have 17 players right now, so we don't have a lot of back-up if someone is out sick or can't make the meet.''

Breton is a U.S. Tennis Association ranked player, and first began coaching the team from 2001 to 2005. She resumed coaching the team in 2009. She is also a secretary at East Hartford High. “I’ve played tennis for 25 years, and I learned right here as a kid in East Hartford at the free tennis program they had. Tennis gave me skills and confidence, and that's what I want to give back to the girls I coach,” she said.

 

Coach's Corner –

East Hartford High School Girls' Varsity Tennis Coach Deanna Breton.

Third season with the team.

“We've lost a lot of players from last year, so this season we are rebuilding the team,'' she said.

 

Sports Spotlight: Players to Watch-

Ashley Clancy, No. 1 Singles Player: "This is my second year with the team, my first time as number-one singles player, which means I play the toughest players - the other number-one players on all the other teams. It’s been hard, it’s a responsibility. We've played four games and won two. My goal is to get a really powerful serve," she said.

 

Alicia Agosto, No. 4 Singles Player: "This is my first season with the team. It's been good so far, I think we are improving all the time. A couple of our best players have been out, so that has made a difference. We're kind of limping along in that respect. My goal right now is learning a better return on the ball, so the other player can't get it," she said.


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