South ready to defend title

By Mike Berman
Published: April 2010

The Girls’ Tennis team had a stellar 2009 campaign in which they won the Dual County League (DCL) title. This season, the team, led by seniors and captains Mika Braginsky and Katherine Man, along with Head Coach Robert Jampol, is poised to defend its title.

Even though its top players from last season graduated, the team is still confident it can overcome the obstacles and win a second consecutive DCL title. “We hope to make the state tournament this year, which will be a great achievement given the loss of four of the seven starters to graduation, Jampol said.

Last year, the team included Lauren Hollender at first singles and the team of Jilli Schwartz and Dana Holt at first doubles, all three of whom were recognized by the Boston Globe and were named All-Scholastic tennis players.

“Having lost extremely talented seniors this year, the team is working hard to pull together and rebuild. Many younger players, however, have shown much promising talent. We hope to simply play our best during the upcoming season, Man said. “We understand it will be a difficult season, but will give it our all to play to our full potential.

The losses of these key players will create a void for the team must fill to have a shot at making a bid for the state championship.

“This year will probably be pretty challenging, Mika Braginsky said. “That said, last year no one expected that we would do very well, and we ended up winning the League Championship, so you never know what could happen.

One problem the team faces this year is the lack of having a dominant first singles player. “We were a pretty strong team last year but this year our weakness is singles because we lost Lauren Hollender who was usually guarenteed to win every match last year at first singles, sophomore Marisa Shocket said.

The team also needs to deal with teams that had achieved great success over the past few seasons, including Lincoln-Sudbury, Acton-Boxborough, and Westford.

“This year we [will] face three of the best teams in the state in our own league: Westford, Acton-Boxboro, and Lincoln-Sudbury, Jampol said.
Last year, the team had beaten all three teams in the regular season but had lost their most important game in the playoffs against Lincoln-Sudbury. This left an uneasy feeling that went on troughout the whole offseason and made them work even harder then they already were.

“We compete hard because we want to succeed. We have also had solid leadership from the captains, and Mika and Kat will be no different. Jampol said. “We take pride in our winning tradition. Though 2010 is a rebuilding year, we will work hard from start to finish.

According to the coach, his team attributes most of its success to hard work and dedication to the sport on and off the court.

While losing graduates proves to be an annual occurrence, the Girls’ Tennis team will sincerely miss the experience and production from the leaders of last year’s championship squad. South will continue to compete at a high level and defend its title as it relies on new players to develop into stars.

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