The Stratford High School girls tennis team will be inexperienced on the court this fall.
“We lost a few from last year and a few this year have opted out,” SHS coach Daniel Ellis said. “I have two girls with varsity singles experience and that is only a total of 30 matches combined. After that, I have two girls with 14 total varsity matches. So we will rebuild.”
Ellis has 12 young ladies on the squad, with sophomore Sarah Suter taking over the No. 1 spot after playing behind graduated all-region players Elizabeth Sivertsen and Aubrey Eudy. Senior Livia Souza bumps up from No. 5 to No. 2 this season. Sophomore Amanda Mills, who played some No. 2 doubles last fall, is up to No. 3 and seventh-grader Caroline Smith looks like the fourth singles player. Senior Sydney Polite rounds out the starting singles ladder at No. 5.
Freshman Morgan Miller leads a group in the mix for time on the court in doubles play. She’ll also see some time at singles.
More doubles players are freshman Emily Ryan, sophomore Audrey Pfahler, eighth grader Darleen Rodriguez, eighth grader Kendal Johnson, seventh grader McKenzie Iriarte and eighth grader Kayedence Zepeda.
In the season opener against Cane Bay, Suter won a singles match and Pfahler/ Ryan won at No. 2 doubles.
“The ladies are working hard even with the adjustments being made due to the new practice guidelines,” Ellis said. “We have gotten into a routine on following our social distancing protocol and can now concentrate on improving. I am proud of the desire these young ladies are showing on wanting to improve and taking time outside of our practice times and getting together to hit with one another. I think we are in a good spot in developing and have a good core to work with for the next few years and beyond. Our goals for the season are to improve with every match, give a strong effort and grow and enjoy the sport. After that you never know what may come from it.”