Norwin tennis team off to strong start behind ‘seasoned’ lineup

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Saturday, September 25, 2021 | 11:01 AM


With the largest and most experienced team she has since taking over at Norwin in 2018, girls tennis coach Diane Pesarsick has even larger expectations for the Knights this fall.

Norwin, which has 23 girls in its program — 11 varsity, six of whom are seniors — is looking to live up to Pesarsick’s descriptions and superlatives that include, “very seasoned,” “excellent” and “strong.”

Norwin hasn’t let its coach down. The team started 8-0 and had only lost one set, to Greensburg Central Catholic in nonsection play, through two weeks of play.

“I couldn’t ask for more that that,” Pesarsick said.

The Knights were 4-0 and leading Section 1-3A.

Seniors Sydney Pesarsick and Shawna Sinchak are team captains.

The former is a fourth-year letter winner who plays at No. 2 singles, while the latter rotates at No. 2 doubles with seniors Liz Nicholson and Olivia Knoechel.

Senior Jenna Beach holds down the No. 1 singles spot, whil Sadie Cuturilo plays the No. 3 spot.

Abby Campbell and senior Jordan Napierkowski are the top doubles team.

“Having so many seniors and returning starters means the girls have been playing for several years together, which makes for a very strong team,” coach Pesarsick said. “Being together for so many years has created a strong bond between them. The girls are extremely dedicated, even in the offseason, which is critical for success. I have a very talented group of players. Clearly all the hard work and dedication is paying off.”

Coach Pesarsick said the schedule has more matches than she is used to — 13, which includes eight in section.

Beach has only given up two points, while Knoechel and Sinchak had not been scored on through three matches.

In addition, Beach and Sydney Pesarsick competed at the Section 1-AAA singles tournament.

Beach reached the semifinals before falling to Latrobe’s Carolina Walters, 6-0, 6-1. She then lost to Franklin Regional’s Ellen Liu, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0, in the third-place match. She still earned a spot in the WPIAL singles tournament field.

Pesarsick reached the section singles quarterfinals before falling to section champion Jenna Bell from Latrobe, 10-1.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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