Windsor Locks girls’ tennis team meets challenges head on
By Calla Vassilopoulos - Staff Writer
Windsor Locks - posted Mon., May. 20, 2013
It may be challenging for the Windsor Locks girls’ tennis team to make it to the state tournament this year, but they are doing much better than expected. Last year the team lost many experienced players, creating doubt for this season. “A lot of people thought we might go winless this season,” said coach Jon LeBlanc.
Many of the returning players this year had to make major jumps in the lineup to fill the void created by the significant loss the team suffered due to last year’s graduating class. The team is proud to have captain Cristina Szepanski, a senior who is the number one singles player on the team for the fourth year, as well as the fourth best player in the league. Szepanski will be playing tennis for Nichols College next year. She not only demonstrates leadership skills on the court, but she also helps her teammates at practice improve their techniques.
“All of the other girls have had the difficult task of making huge jumps in the lineup from where they were last year,” said LeBlanc. “ The girls in the lineup and the reserves have been incredibly dedicated and hard-working. They have all improved a lot during the season.”
The Raiders’ only challenge is the various skill levels of the players on the team, from just stepping on a court this season to being one of the top five players in the league. The perseverance and devotion of the team has enabled them to work together and improve their skills individually and as a team throughout the season.
The team needs to win the last four out of five matches to make it to the state tournament this year, which could be challenging. The Raiders have beaten three out of the five teams in previous matches this season, having lost to the other two teams. However, with a little good luck the team may have a shot at qualifying for states. If the girls do not make states, they will still continue to practice for fun.
“As a team, and as individuals, the girls have exceeded my expectations,” LeBlanc.