Dominating is a word that describes the Penn Yan girls’ tennis team perfectly. The squad is coming off a season in which they went 15-0 and won league and sectional titles. As hard as it is to believe, the whole team is back and they might just be better this season.
The team is 3-0 on the year so far with wins over Prattsburgh, Geneva, and Naples, all by 5-0 scores. A goal for the girls this year is to focus on becoming closer as a group.
“I feel like we can do more team bonding as a group,” said junior Samantha Denson. Grace Swarthout, also a junior, agreed with Denson. “The only people we really get close to is with your doubles partner because we don’t play together,” she said.
The team has a routine of beginning each match with what they call “pep talks”.
“We all get in the shed,” said sophomore Abigail Garvey of the small equipment shed next to Penn Yan’s tennis courts. “There’s a lot of screaming.”
The team also has idiosyncrasies that are important to them such as wearing avocado socks, not untying their shoes, and spinning their racquets.
“It keeps the spirit up,” explained sophomore Jayden Hollister.
While those habits are fun and keep the team light-hearted, on the court the girls are hyper-focused on their goals. Their success stems from having a load of talent.
Penn Yan 3 Prattsburgh 0
Last Friday, only the rain could stop them as they defeated Prattsburgh 3-0 before the weather-shortened the match.
First singles Molly Pullen beat Kendra Pinckney 6-1, 6-1, sister and second singles Claire Pullen defeated Susie Moore 6-0, 6-1, and third singles Abigail Garvey dropped Annabella Putnam 6-1, 6-0.
“The doubles teams turned their matches around, winning the second sets in both matches only to have the rain come down during the third sets, ending play,” said coach Nathan Kraemer.
Penn Yan 5 Geneva 0
On Thursday the team faced Geneva, winning 5-0. Molly Pullen won 6-2, 6-1, Claire Pullen won 6-0, 6-1, and Garvey won 6-0, 6-0 in singles play. Denson and Hollister won 6-1, 6-0, while Sydney Moravec and Grace Worth also won 6-0, 6-1 in doubles play.
The result was the same against Naples last Tuesday as all three singles players and both doubles teams won to register another 5-0 win.
The team played Waterloo Monday, travels to Wayne Wednesday, and is on the road again to face Newark Friday.
The Marcus Whitman tennis team had a solid week going 2-1 with wins over Geneva and Midlakes and a loss to league power HAC.
Marcus Whitman 4 Geneva 1
The Wildcats beat Geneva 4-1. Kaitlyn Hopper lost to Kiersten Ryan of Geneva 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 10-4 in first singles. Alaina Dhondt defeated Elisabeth Porschet 6-1, 6-3, and Camry Semans beat Abby Burrall 6-3, 6-1 to round out singles action.
In doubles action, Evelynn Bergstresser and Caty Goodman won 6-3, 6-2, and Reese Evans and Jane Snaith won 6-2, 6-2.
Marcus Whitman 5 Midlakes 0
Whitman was coming off a 5-0 win over Midlakes Sept. 5. Hopper won 6-0, 6-2, Dhondt won 6-1, 6-0, and Reese Evans won 6-0, 6-0.
In doubles, Goodman and Semans won 6-0, 6-0, and Bergstesser and Snaith won 6-0, 6-0.
The team faced HAC last Tuesday, losing 4-1. Semans was the lone winner by a score of 7-6 (7-5), 6-1.
The team plays at Bloomfield Wednesday, at Prattsburgh Thursday, and home against Naples on Friday.