Young doubles duo makes impact for Chartiers Valley tennis

Sunday, November 20, 2022 | 11:01 AM

The sky’s the limit for the dynamic duo of the Chartiers Valley girls tennis team after a breakout 2022 season.

Sophomore Kaitlyn Kuczinski and freshman Delaney Fox helped the Colts team reach the WPIAL team playoffs and advance to the quarterfinals with a first-round win over North Catholic.

It was in doubles play that these two made their mark, winning their section tournament, earning the No. 4 seed in the district field, reaching the WPIAL semifinals and winning the consolation match to earn a trip to Hershey to participate in the state playoffs.

The pair recently sat down to discuss their seasons and successes.

How long have your played tennis and when did you realize you were pretty good at the sport?

KK: I started playing tennis when I was 6 years old. My first lessons were at Webb Park in Collier, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I then took lessons with a coach at St. Clair Tennis Development and have been there ever since. Just like any other sport or any academic activity, you are only as good as the amount of time that you put in. I’ve always considered tennis a challenge and enjoy the twists and turns it presents.

DF: I’ve been playing tennis for six years. At first it was just something to do for fun, but I slowly advanced in skill level and decided to start playing competitively.

What was your experience like in participating in the PIAA girls doubles state championships in Hershey?

KK: The main thing I will remember is the atmosphere. There were lots of people and lots of amazing and talented (players). It was an honor to be a part of such a fantastic group of student-athletes. Being a part of it will only push me harder to get back there.

DF: Overall the trip was a great experience. I was honored to be able to have the opportunity to see what it was like to play at such a prestigious level for my freshman year.

Having a taste of that kind of success, does that drive you to work harder at your game for the 2023 season?

KK: Absolutely. Any competitive athlete strives to be with the best. That is when you learn the most about the sport and about yourself. Having experienced such an event, I cannot wait to get back onto the court. Next season doesn’t come soon enough.

DF: The success I’ve had as an individual, doubles partner and teammate has definitely sparked a drive for my performance next year. I certainly would like to go farther in my personal growth, as well as growth within my doubles partnership.

Talk about your relationship with each other and what makes you two so good in doubles?

KK: Delaney is an awesome person. She’s an amazing partner. Is she a great tennis player? Absolutely. But she is an even better person. She always has a smile on her face and keeps things loose no matter the situation. That helps to bring out the best in others.

DF: If I could describe Kaitlyn with one word, it’d be passionate. She cares so much about the sport and has such an amazing drive to succeed. She’s an amazing tennis player and a role model to me as well as an incredible doubles partner. We have excellent communication and love each other’s presence on the court. We’re able to adapt and have faith in one another.”

What do you need to do this offseason to improve your game?

KK: I would love to continue to work on my net presence. I am a lacrosse goalie and have no problem coming to the net and having people try and get the ball by me. I have found that is a characteristic that I can really use to my advantage.

DF: Personally, for my overall improvement during the offseason, I need to work on my net game. I’ve gotten better over the last few weeks, but there is definitely still some room to improve.

How much fun was it to be a part of the Colts overall success as a team this fall?

KK: While tennis can be known as an individual sport, I want to say how absolutely incredible my team has been. Everyone is super supportive of each other. However, they are also competitors. That helps bring the best out in all of us. I am super proud to be part of such an incredible group of people and coaches.

DF: Being a part of such an amazing team was an experience I’ll never forget. It’s an awesome feeling and I’ve made some new friends along the way as well.

Favorite snack … sweet or salty?

KK: Oh definitely salty. My go-to is goldfish and pretzels. I would eat them all day if I could.

DF: My favorite snack is most definitely the Watermelon Sour Patch Kids. Sour and sweet.

Your dream vacation is …?

KK: Most definitely Hawaii. I would love to sit on the soft sand beaches and ride the huge waves in the ocean. The best thing would be all of the sun I could soak in.

DF: A dream vacation of mine would have to be a trip to Italy. I’ve always wanted to go and it would be so much fun.


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