Source: Sherman Publications

Remove Images

Varsity tryouts yield two JV teams

by Gabriel L. Ouzounian

March 23, 2011

Sophomore Agatha Pawlikoski streches to return a serve to her teammate. Photo by Gabriel Ouzounian
It can always be troublesome for a high school coach when not enough people try out for their team, but Eric Bracciano, head coach for Girls' Varsity Tennis, does not have that problem.

"We had over 55 girls try out for the team this year, and that was way more than we anticipated would be coming out," said Bracciano. "We have a no cut policy, so after talking with the other coaches we decided to have two JV teams - no one else has that.

"It's just the coolest thing, and I'm hoping we can work these girls hard, train them well and have a buck to pick from next year."

Back on the varsity team, Bracciano is expecting six returning players, including Nicole VanRooyen, Kelsey Lee, Abby Martin, Abby Ulewicz, Athena Anger, and Devynn Makidon. Total, the team will have five seniors, five juniors, three sophomores, and one freshman. That one freshman, Bracciano said, is an exceptional player for her age.

"(Freshman) Nadia Minaret has been playing already for four years, and she's a technically sound player," said Bracciano. "She has a strong serve, a good game overall, and she'll definitely be an asset this year."

The Lake Orion High School Girls' Tennis team was bumped up from Division 3 to Division 2 in the Oakland Athletic Association, thanks to a record of 7-2 last year. Bracciano said the team lost only one season game, the other loss coming in the regional finals, where Lake Orion placed fifth.

As far as the promotion to Division 2, Bracciano said the season will naturally be tougher, with main opponents being Rochester, Troy, Troy Athens, and West Bloomfield, some of which are Division 1 organizations.

"We have the quantity, now we need to improve our quality," said Bracciano. "It's a matter of getting the new girls experience, because a lot of them have never played on the varsity level.

"We still have a young team in a lot of ways, but it's just another challenge that need to be overcome."

The team's first game will be Monday, March 27 at home against Notre Dame Prep.