Fresh faces fill Pine-Richland boys tennis lineup
By: Likitha Janga
Monday, March 12, 2018 | 12:46 AM
Pine-Richland boys tennis will have a new look this season after graduating the bulk of last year's starting roster.
Whether the Rams, who started their season Monday, can reproduce or improve upon last year's 6-1 record in Section 2-AAA will be determined, but coach Janet Chappell is certain her young group of players will have to learn as they go.
“This is a rebuilding year,” Chappell said. “We lost six seniors from last year. I have maybe three or four sophomores starting, two seniors in there and maybe a freshman.
“My guys have a lot to learn. We're young. Our doubles guys will be young, very young. It's not a problem, but it could make things interesting for us. The last couple of years, I knew who would be playing where. This year, they have to work hard to show me where to put them. They have to show me they can learn.”
Sophomore Kang-Young Kim played last season, and he will fill the top singles spot.
Seniors Mike Brudy and Jared Roskin are slated to fill the other singles spots.
As for doubles, Chappell said the pairings are a work in progress.
She expected Jason Minicozzi and A.J. Silipo to fill the first pairing and freshman Ethan Chan and junior Derek Bashe to combine for second doubles when Pine-Richland opened the season at Peters Township, which ended too late for this edition.
The lineup might be more fluid, but expectations rarely waver for Pine-Richland tennis.
Chappell said the team can make another run at the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs.
“The good news is some of these guys are working really hard,” Chappell said. “This is just the kind of year where you just don't know yet. Somebody will step up. I know somebody will step up. They're boys. They're competitive, and they are going to play to win.
“I'm sure we'll get people to step up, and they'll do the best they can out there. That's all anyone could ever ask.”
Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.