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Way forward for Hampton tennis program in good arms with profitable JV squad

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Saturday, October 15, 2022 | 11:01 AM


The constructing blocks look like in place.

Hampton’s ladies junior varsity tennis group racked up a powerful 11-2 file this season, providing hope for a agency playoff push by subsequent 12 months’s varsity squad.

“The long run appears to be like nice,” coach Milt Squires stated. “The gamers are excited and are planning to play year-round to enhance within the offseason.

“The women know so as to achieve success, they can not simply wait till fall rolls round to start out enjoying tennis once more. They’ve a plan for enjoying on their very own and preparing for subsequent 12 months already.”

Exhausting work and expertise clicked for the Talbots. This 12 months’s JV group will mesh with the returning varsity gamers subsequent fall.

Hampton’s varsity squad remained in postseason competition in 2022 till a troublesome loss to Ellis Faculty knocked it out of the playoff chase.

Though Hampton dropped from Class 3A to 2A in ladies tennis this season, the Talbots included a number of of the WPIAL’s larger faculties on their junior varsity schedule. Eight of their victories have been towards 3A opponents.

Hampton’s JV group began off by profitable its first seven matches towards Franklin Regional (4-1), Mars (3-2), North Catholic (3-2), Pine-Richland (3-2), Chartiers Valley (4-1 ), Shaler (5-0) and North Hills (5-0).

“I feel this 12 months’s JV tennis group made it a lot farther than we’ve got in years prior,” stated junior LaNiya Ward, who competed at first doubles with sophomore Ellery Robertson. “I feel most of it has to do with our group dynamic and at all times coming to apply excited to play and never dreading the game we love.

“We performed so properly this 12 months, and rather a lot (of our success) goes to our coach, Milt, who helped us make it this far.”

After a 5-0 loss to North Allegheny, the Talbots rebounded with 4-1 victories towards Franklin Regional, Seneca Valley and Thomas Jefferson, then dropped a 4-1 resolution to Aquinas Academy’s varsity group.

“The women dealt with strain properly and closed out tight matches towards actually good groups,” Squires stated. “The women knew, with a schedule full of Seneca Valley, Franklin Regional and North Allegheny, that they needed to be ready for every match and go into it with confidence. They positively educated arduous to play these groups.

“Actually, the women labored extremely arduous at each apply and actually appeared to thrive from the competitors. They seem to be a good group for positive. I had excessive expectations from the beginning.”

Hampton’s junior varsity lineup included sophomores Abigail Anderson and Caroline Muddle at first and second singles, with junior Addie Hastings securing the third singles place.

Anderson completed with a 9-2 file in singles play.

“Abigail had an unimaginable season,” Squires stated. “Abigail was our most constant participant, hardly ever making unforced errors.”

Ward and Robertson teamed up at first doubles whereas freshman Makenna Ristori and sophomore Madison Holleran competed at second doubles.

Juniors Katherine Jenkins and Julianna Joyce, freshmen Kenzie Jones and Ashley Rothlinberg and sophomore Olivia Marks rounded out the JV squad.

Ward, the group captain, completed with an 11-2 file.

“LaNiya had an incredible season with 11 wins,” Squires stated. “She is an unimaginable doubles participant, an incredible group captain and a motivating teammate.”

The 16-year-old Ward has a 3.9 GPA and in addition is a member of the Hampton ladies observe program.

Ward took her roles as group captain and group chief critically and tried her greatest to unfold a constructive perspective to all of her teammates.

“My duties as captain included, clearly, to be a pacesetter, but in addition to verify everybody loved what they have been doing,” Ward stated. “Sure, on one hand it is cool to win, however what’s profitable if you happen to’re not having enjoyable whereas doing it?

“Main by instance and having a superb relationship with my teammates and coaches have been essential issues that I discovered this 12 months, and the way a lot they’ll impression the group’s temper and efficiency.”

Ward stated the Talbots’ 11-win season came about primarily due to the athleticism on the group and the teaching capacity of Squires.

“I am so grateful and blessed to be enjoying tennis with such an incredible group of women,” Ward stated. “I am additionally grateful for having an incredible coach.

“Coach Milt is without doubt one of the greatest coaches I’ve ever had. He at all times has religion in us and encourages us to develop into higher athletes.”

Hampton’s first-year JV ladies coach stated Ward and Robertson instantly related as a double pair.

“Ellery began out as second singles and was moved to first doubles resulting from an premature damage to a different participant,” Squires stated. “Ellery moved into doubles with LaNiya and racked up win after win. Her willingness to assist the group out by enjoying doubles paid off.”

One of many largest wins of the 12 months for the Talbots got here in an in depth match with Pine-Richland.

“I bear in mind most of us have been nervous and a few of us have been having a nasty day,” Ward stated. “We went into the match with our heads down. Ellery and I have been miserably shedding within the first set (together with the opposite ladies), with the rating being 5-0, and coach Milt referred to as us over and stated his well-known line, ‘Y’all are higher than this; get organized,’ and we began laughing and immediately made a comeback.

“It is the little moments that may flip your temper round and make you play higher.”

The Talbots capped their excellent season — they misplaced solely as soon as to a junior varsity opponent — by taking first place Nov. 5 on the Franklin Regional doubles match.

All three Hampton entrants superior to the semifinal spherical. Ward and Robertston captured the match title in an all-Hampton closing.

“The women and I are tremendous happy with ourselves and the way we performed this season,” Ward stated.

Tags: Hampton

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