Rebuilding year for the Bacon Academy girls' tennis team
By Kevin Hotary - Staff Writer
Colchester - posted Tue., Apr. 24, 2012
After losing their first three matches of the season, it’s fair to say that the Bacon Academy girls’ tennis team is off to a rough start. But coach Donna Bonnin knew that after losing her number-one singles player and her number-one doubles team from last year, that her team would have a hard time matching the success of last year, in which the Bobcats finished above .500 and went to the state tournament.
“It’s definitely a rebuilding year. I don’t think we’re going to be as strong as we’ve been the last couple of years. I’m hoping that we can come out of it with a respectable record,” said Bonin at a recent team practice. Her current team is a mix of a few players that have played at the varsity level, some that have not, and some that are good athletes, but are just learning the game. Despite the fact that she has more than 20 players, Bonin said that she decided not to make any cuts this year, as in previous years girls she had cut went to other sports and never returned to tennis.
“I’m hoping that some of these kids will catch on, play over the summer, maybe take some lessons,” she said.
Two freshmen, Pooja Rajadhyaksha and Amanda Greiner, have been “pleasant surprises,” said Bonin. Rajadhyaksha will play number one singles. “She’s a good player. She’s strong as a freshman. She’ll be a strong player for the next four years,” said Bonin. Greiner will also be playing singles, she said. “They can hit, they’re competitive and they keep the ball going,” said Bonin. “The two of them, over the next several years as they improve, will be forces to contend with,” she added.
Moving up to the number-one doubles spot from the number-two doubles last year is the team of Becca Fox and Casey Seymour, two seniors who have been together as a team since they were freshmen, only the third team Bonin has kept together for four years in her 12 years as coach. Her hope, she said, is that they qualify for the state tournament this year.
“They certainly had a good year last year [as the number-two doubles team]. But moving up from second doubles to first is a big jump,” said Bonin. To help them prepare for the tougher competition, she sometimes has them practice against the boys’ team, so they can face some big hitters.
Although her team is mostly young and inexperienced, Bonin remains optimistic. “I think that as the season goes on and they get a little bit more experience and a little bit more practice, they’ll be good,” she said. “We’ll just go out and do what we need to do, and see what happens,” said Bonin.