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2014 KENTUCKY STANDARD TENNIS PREVIEW: Banshees, Eagles young and experienced

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Bethlehem tennis preview

By Darren George

If the Bethlehem tennis teams are going to make a run this season, they will have to look for versatile building blocks — and they just may have those in place.

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“We have some new faces this year, but we also have some veterans returning,” Bethlehem coach Lynn Hamilton said. “I want us to be competitive and I expect our singles to be really strong. I think we have a shot to win some big matches and I feel we are putting some players in the right place to advance.

A couple of those individuals are freshman sisters Marianna and Miriam Melgoza, who will play doubles.

“We are excited to have them play for us,” Hamilton said. “I know we will be young on our doubles side, but I have confidence in all of them.”

Senior Kelly Feldman and junior Abby Moore will also see plenty of playing time from the singles aspect.

“I look for our girls to do really well,” Feldman said. “We have more girls coming out than before and getting enough practice time and being aggressive out there is a key.”

As for Moore, she says making sure your serve is up to par is a factor in the game of tennis.

“If you can serve well, then you have an advantage to start with,” she said. “Getting off the ground and up to the net for a spike is also a vital part of the game.”

The boys’ attributes seem just as strong, as they are a young core, but will feature freshman Adam Rogers to lead out front in their singles division. Rogers was district runner-up in boys’ singles last spring.

“I think our boys can win the district this year,” Rogers said. “Our No. 1 and No. 2 players are pretty stout on the court. We need to work on our unforced errors and just play smart and we should do fine.”

Rogers has been playing since he was in sixth grade and he said he really enjoys the game, but he also knows it will take practice and dedication for his group to move forward.

Sophomore Jack Surtees also joins Rogers on the court this season, and he said experience will make the difference.

“I have been playing for a few years now,” said Surtees, who teamed with his brother, Ezra, to win last year’s boys’ district doubles crown. “I would love to have at least one singles and a doubles team to advance to the region. We have a good group of guys who know the sport, and we must minimize our weaknesses and try to know your opponent and their weaknesses when you play them.”

Bethlehem went 4-6 in girls’ action last season, while the boys were 2-8 overall.

“We have a chance to make up some ground with both our teams,” Hamilton said. “John Simms, a seventh-grader, and senior doubles Jantzen Sivori and Jesse Plouvier are doing really well and they all hit a nice ball. I want them to have fun, as this will be a part of their lives for a long time to come.”