Slow and steady wins the race for the Kenmore West tennis team
For Kenmore West tennis, a slow and steady approach should win them plenty of matches in the coming years.
While the Blue Devils are on the young side compared to most of the Niagara Frontier League, coach Lisa Siegel believes that having a young team isn’t something to wrong her hands over.
It’s something to be excited about as it can only bode well for the programs future.
Siegel said that having an influx of so much youth will give them time to not only grow, improve and bond together, it gives her a wider window of time as a coach to work with a core group.
“I’m excited about our team because of the fact that I have one senior, who is a foreign exchange student and I have one junior,” Siegel said. “The rest are freshmen and sophomores. So this is technically a year where I can say this is absolutely a rebuilding year because years past I would get a couple of seniors come and play, then they’d be gone. We don’t have time to develop them because they’re only there for the one year. So now I can honestly say we do have time to develop
these young players now, which is perfect.”
Leading the way for the Blue Devils in 2012 are Radomir Pupovac and Niko Mancuso.
Though only sophomores, Mancuso and Pupovic are natural talents for the game with a couple of years varsity experience under their belts.
Mancuso has sparkled at first singles while Pupovic gives the Blue Devils a strong third singles player.
Freshman Nicholas Atallah is new to the team and has been outstanding at second singles.
In fact, it was Atallah’s three-set victory that helped Ken-West beat Lewiston-Porter 3-2 to clinch their first NFL win of the year.
“He’s done a really nice job for us at second,” coach Siegel said.
The doubles scene has Colin Flynn teaming with the Blue Devils lone senior, international student Ichiyo Ajioka at first doubles.
Freshman Evan Dowdall and junior Taylor Speth are at second doubles. The potential is there. It’s just a matter of the players slowly but surely improving each day as they learn the nuances of the game and knowing when and how to instinctually make needed adjustments during the match.
Going 1-2 in their first three league matches, the Blue Devils fell to Grand Island and lost a close 3-2 final to district rival Kenmore East that literally could have gone either way.