Seniors leading the way for Thomas Jefferson girls tennis

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Monday, September 24, 2018 | 7:39 PM


Thomas Jefferson was represented by senior Faith Rockwell and freshman Christine Rossi — the team’s No. 1 and No. 2 players — at the recent Section 3-AAA girls singles tennis tournament.

Rossi defeated Allderdice’s Lauren Haffner, 10-2, before losing to Shady Side Academy’s Elle Santora, 10-0. Rockwell dropped a 10-3 decision to Fox Chapel’s Emily Fera.

“My seniors have been really good role models for the younger players,” coach Chuck Correll said. “Faith was at second singles last year. She is a very intelligent player with a great backhand.

“Christine has all the tools to be an outstanding player. A quote from the Ellis coach was, ‘She (Rossi) has the best serve I’ve seen.’”

Rockwell has led the Jaguars from the team’s No. 1 spot throughout the 2018 season.

She maintains a 4.2 GPA, and is a member of the National Honor Society, French Club, STEM Club, Interact Club, Mission Work and student council. She also is a youth leader at Pleasant Hills Presbyterian Church.

Two returning sophomore starters this year are Cassidy Como, at third singles, and Shannon Day, at first doubles.

“Cassidy is very consistent and will get better as she gets stronger,” Correll said. “Shannon played second doubles last year with Cassidy. She has tremendous potential in the future. She just started playing last year and has had the most improvement of anyone on the team.”

Junior Cathryn Rossi teams with Day at first doubles.

“Cathryn’s serve has really improved, and she has a great backhand,” Correll said.

The second doubles tandem consists of seniors Morgan Newton and Tori O’Brien.

“Morgan has really improved her skills as a doubles player,” Correll said, “and she is getting better each match. Her net play (volleys) has improved 100 percent from last year.

“Tori is probably the hardest worker on the team. She is very coachable. She played doubles last year and has been steady this year. She is very strong at the net.”

Correll believes Rossi has a bright future in the program.

“Christine has the potential to be one of the best girls in our section in the future,” Correll said. “She has great attitude about the learning experience she will get this year. She has had positive expectations.”

Ray Fisher is a freelance writer.

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