May 15, 2013 - The new varsity Girls' Tennis Team is a mixed bag of talent, according to Head Coach Gayle Bailey.
Bottom row: Chloe Straub, Jessie Duronio, Sierra Wallington, Hannah Yoo, Mackenzie Prey, Marissa Johnson, Brooke Taylor and Aviana Paese. Top row: Jenna Duronio, Katherine Labombard, Rebeka Krol, Lakin Felix, Monica Heirman, Kristen Myers, Maddie Maier and Coach Gayle Bailey. (click for larger version)
"I have a lot of brand spanking new players, but I have girls that can absolutely play," she said. "We as a team have given other schools a run for their money. We've not laid there and taken it. We've come out scratching."
As a new team with very little or no experience, Bailey said "power and strength" in their hitting is coming, but she's taught the girls how to focus on just playing smart.
"Wherever the (other) girls are, don't hit it there," she said.
Bailey gave kudos to girls who were trying a brand new sport for the first time. "I don't know if I could have tried a new sport at 15 years-old," she said. "That's crazy."
However, Bailey said assistant and JV Coach Anne Pawlczk is a great example of a newbie to the sport who found success.
"What's good about Anne is that she is younger coach and she didn't pick up a tennis racket until her sophomore year of high school and was really successful which is great because I want the girls to know you don't have to play tennis all your life like I did," added Bailey.
"You can absolutely pick it up like you are now and be successful, Anne is a testament to that."
Also as a new coach and a new team, Bailey has used the opportunity to teach the girls how any kind of athletics "builds and gives life skills."
"The girls can learn being on time, caring
for one another, winning is great, but you have to lose graciously," she said. "Throwing tantrums not tolerable, in life you throw a tantrum - you lose."
With a current record of 3-3-1 as of May 7 Bailey said she couldn't be more proud of a first year team. "The girls I have are great. They have done everything I've asked of them and have gone above what I thought we would have," Bailey said.
"I am so excited for them, excited for the community and ready to make history with these girls."
The girls will take the court next at 9 a.m. on Sat. May 11 at the OAA Blue Championship at Southfield High School.
Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.