Having the first and second singles players back – and as seniors – is something a coach always looks forward to.
Roselle Park also has two other senior starters back for its 2016 campaign.
Back at first singles is senior Morgan Literate and at second singles is senior Lexi Tumblety.
Now teaming up as a first doubles tandem are seniors Jacky Chacon and Nicole Piriz, Roselle Park’s other two returning starters from a 2015 squad that finished 9-9 overall and tied for third place with Plainfield in the Union County Conference’s middle division – the Mountain Division.
“To have four returning letter-winners back is pretty good,” Roselle Park head coach Nancy Sturcke said.
Literate’s first year at first singles a year ago saw her post a 9-10 record.
“Morgan is a great athlete and a fine leader,” Sturcke said. “She sure has her challenges ahead again at first singles.”
Literate and Tumblety are the team’s co-captains. Tumblety’s 2015 record was 8-10.
“Lexi worked on her game and has improved her serve and ground strokes,” Sturcke said.
Roselle Park has a newcomer at third singles, with freshman Mariana Rivera taking over there.
“It’s rare for a freshman to start at one of the singles positions here,” Sturcke said. “Mariana has a tennis background.
“She has nice groundstrokes, a solid serve and we’re hoping she gets some good experience here.”
At first doubles are Chacon and Piriz, with sophomore Alexis Kuterka playing there during Roselle Park’s first match at Gov. Livingston.
Chacon was 10-9 at third singles a year ago and Piriz 9-7 at first doubles with since graduated Charlotte Sessions.
“Both are pretty experienced,” Sturcke said. “It’s a combination that clicks.”
Kuterka and Pooja Amin, both sophomores up from the junior varsity, are at second doubles.
Senior Olivia Kamienski played second doubles in the match against GL.
Other players include seniors Erin Kennedy, Kaitlyn Kirkpatrick and Odalys Arbelaez and sophomore Bianca Ortega.
The Mountain Division this year has Dayton – last year’s Valley Division champion – replacing Linden. The other teams in the division in addition to Roselle Park and Dayton include Union, Plainfield, Cranford and defending champion GL. Cranford finished second last year.
“Dayton is strong and they make the division more challenging,” Sturcke said.
Roselle Park’s first win came at home against Elizabeth 5-0 Sept. 12.
The Panthers lost at home to Dayton 3-2 on Sept. 13.
GIRLS’ TENNIS 2016
FIRST SINGLES: Morgan Literate, senior
SECOND SINGLES: Lexi Tumblety, senior
THIRD SINGLES: Mariana Rivera, freshman
FIRST DOUBLES: Jacky Chacon, senior
and Nicole Piriz, senior
SECOND DOUBLES: Alexis Kuterka, sophomore
and Pooja Amin, sophomore
Olivia Kamienski, senior
Erin Kennedy, senior
Kaitlyn Kirkpatrick, senior
Odalys Arbelaez, senior
Bianca Ortega, sophomore
(A) Gov. Livingston 5, Roselle Park 0
(H) Roselle Park 5, Elizabeth 0
(H) Dayton 3, Roselle Park 2
(A) Roselle Park 5, Union 0
Sept. 19 at Johnson, ppd-rain
Sept. 20 at Plainfield, 4 p.m.
Sept. 22 at Cranford, 4 p.m.
Sept. 26 at Rahway, 4 p.m.
Sept. 30 Bloomfield, 4 p.m.
Oct. 4 Gov. Livingston, 4 p.m.
Oct. 7 at Dayton, 4 p.m.
Oct. 11 Union, 4 p.m.
Oct. 14 Plainfield, 4 p.m.
Oct. 17 Cranford, 4 p.m.
Oct. 18 at Union Catholic, 4 p.m.
Oct. 20 at Summit, 4 p.m.