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Boys of tennis are focused on short term



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Junior Palmer Hatch volleys back. Photo by O. Shumaker (click for larger version)
August 22, 2012 - By Olivia Shumaker

Review Intern

It's game, set, match time for the Dragon Varsity Boys' Tennis team.

The team started their season last Saturday, on Aug. 18 at the Romeo Invitational.

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"I think we look pretty good this year," said senior Co-Captain Jesse Keller.

The team is coming off of losing several players from last year's team, leaving the remaining racketers to rebuild. But they are pleased with what they have to work with - four seniors return to the team along with several members who play year-round. This year's team also has a positive outlook for next year, because, "there's a lot of young players we'll be retaining next year," said junior Co-Captain Palmer Hatch.

Last year the team had an overall record of 500, leaving them in the middle of their league and finishing second in a few tournaments along the way. This year, the team wants to finish a bit higher and take first in some of those tournaments

Ultimately, though, the team is avoiding setting any long term goals or red-letter matches. Instead, they are focusing on short term goals, taking everything one day at a time to work the team up. Long term goals consist simply of a, "little bit of improvement every year," said Head Coach Eric Bracciano.

"I'm realistic on things. We lost a lot of our top guys last year, so we have some big shoes to fill," Bracciano said. "But the guys have got the spirit to do that."

Practices have kept the short term in mind, with match-style practices in the morning from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., followed by a more traditional conditioning and strategy practice from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Hatch and Keller have kept busy organizing the team for captains' practices in the meantime. So far they are focusing on their serves and returns, as well as getting their doubles teams used to playing together. The Romeo Invitational was their first time playing as a team.

"They'll probably gel together as a team as the season goes on and figure out each other's strengths and weaknesses," said Bracciano.

With the Romeo Invitational over, the team will spend the next couple of weeks before the next tournament learning from mishaps at their first tournament and improving on their strengths. Looking ahead, without looking too far, the season offers a lot of promise.

"It should be a tough season, but we're really looking forward to it, and we'll hopefully do well," Keller said.

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