Andover Girls Tennis has set out many ambitious goals for this season, one of them being a New England Championship, according to Co-Captain Campbell Howe ’14. The bold endeavor, however, is well within reach of this year’s promising and youthful roster, especially in the light of a successful 2013 campaign which resulted in a second place finish.
Howe, one of the two Seniors on the team, will look to lead with fellow Senior Katherine Tobeason ’14 and Co-Captain Camille Price ’15. They must fill the shoes of three graduated players, one of them being Katherine Lee ’13, the team’s Captain of two years and number one player.
“[Lee] was integral to the team not only for skill and talent, but for keeping the whole team together,” said Howe. “But the team will remain strong and cohesive, so on that front I think we will be all rright without the Seniors.”
Two more players, Isabella Haegg ’16 and Lara Danovitch ’16, round out the returning cast. Contributing to this season’s hopeful success is the return of Head Coach Deborah Chase, who was out on maternity leave last season.
Howe said, “A lot of us are really excited to have her back. She helped bring the team together and keep the dynamic up and alive.”
The Co-Captains led Sunday practices during the winter with the intent of preparing the team for an even more tightly packed season of grueling matches than last season. Howe and Price plan to continue this increased focus on conditioning throughout the season.
The team fundamentally believes that its strengths lie in its depth, as well as its chemistry.
“We have great team chemistry, which translates really well to our doubles matches,” said Haegg. “It’s unusual for teams to be strong in doubles so we have that to our advantage.”
Many of the players have experience playing together, which will serve them well when forming doubles teams.
Because the team lost almost half of its eight-person roster, it might be a challenge for it to quickly build chemistry with so many new players.
“This transition will happen quickly, so I’m not worried,” said Haegg. “We have a few weeks of practice and tryouts before our first match.”
One of these players is Reagan Posorske ’17, who is currently ranked number four in Arizona for her class, according to the Babolat Recruiting List.
But according to Haegg, “Our team is known for depth, meaning we don’t have just one stand out player, but everyone plays at a similar level and brings in a lot of wins for the team.” She believes this will buffer the blow of losing Seniors.
After such a strong season last year, going undefeated in the league and finishing second in New Englands, the team has its sights set on bringing home a title or two. Andover was invited to the de Villafranca Tournament at Kent School in May.
“We’re expecting this season to be probably the strongest in our history,” said Haegg.
Howe said, “We picked up a lot of new talent this year, and we still have a pretty strong core team. We are trying to win the New England tournament this year. We were finalists last year, we lost to Hotchkiss but Hotchkiss lost a few of its top players, and we’ve only picked up more talent.”
The season starts on April 9, when the team goes up against Millfield for the home opener of the season.