Girls tennis team opens season with three wins

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Madeleine Eiss returns a shot to her first singles opponent during the Clarence girls tennis team’s 5-0 victory over Amherst Friday. 
Photo by James SmerecakPurchase color photos Madeleine Eiss returns a shot to her first singles opponent during the Clarence girls tennis team’s 5-0 victory over Amherst Friday. Photo by James SmerecakPurchase color photos Clarence’s girls tennis team has yet to drop a single point in three matches this season, giving credence to coach Michael DelSignore’s belief that 2017 “could be a breakout season for us.”

The Lady Red Devils have gotten past their opponents with relative ease for the most part, with all points in their season-opening 5-0 victory over Hamburg on Aug. 29 coming in two sets.

Freshman Madeleine Eiss, who takes over first singles duties from Shefalika Prasad, won her varsity debut by 6-1, 6-1 scores. Co-captain Caroline Bolton, who moves from first doubles to second singles, who her point by 6-3, 6-1 marks, while Chloe Esch — the team’s only returning singles player — gave the Lady Red Devils the singles sweep by taking the third point by 6-1, 6-2 scores.

“Madeleine has an advanced, all-court game and is a very strong player,” DelSignore said. “Maddie has a powerful forehand and great footwork. She has played in many tournaments so she has experience in that regard.”

Teresa Lin, who advances from exhibition to first doubles, and team newcomer Mia Fasanello won their first doubles match by 6-3, 6-2 scores. The final point of the match was secured by co-captain Jaime King and Becca Lopez when they won the second doubles match in straight sets.

“Teresa is a very good ball striker, and Mia should be a good complement to her in doubles play,” DelSignore said. “Jaime is the anchor at second doubles and has an aggressive net game.”

Clarence was able to get through singles play in similar fashion against East Aurora on Thursday. Eiss took the first match in straight sets, while Bolton won the second point by 6-0, 6-2 scores. Esch completed the singles sweep with her 6-0, 6-1 triumph at third singles.

Lin and Fasanello held on to win their first doubles match by 6-4, 4-6, 10-8 marks, while King and Katie Blake found themselves in marathon first and third sets in what was ultimately their 6-7 (7-9), 6-1, 10-8 victory at second doubles.

Clarence then completed its first week of action by shutting out Amherst on Friday. Eiss again took the first singles point in straight sets, while Bolton rallied from a 4-6 loss in the first set to win the second singles point by taking the next two sets by 6-2, 6-3 scores. Esch again completed the singles sweep with her 6-2, 6-4 victory at third singles.

Lin and Fasanello came away from their first doubles match victoriously after posting a 7-5, 5-7, 10-5 win, while King and Lopez took the second doubles point by 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) marks.

“This year’s group just has very good chemistry,” DelSignore said. “They have a real willingness to work and improve, and they take instruction very well.”

The Lady Red Devils, who have added assistant coach Steve Insinna to the mix this season, are aiming to improve on last year’s effort, an effort that was capped by a Silver Flight title in the annual Team Championships tournament. Clarence, which finished fourth in ECIC I in 2016, anticipates Orchard Park, Lancaster and Williamsville North — teams DelSignore considers “the top three in Western New York” — as being the greatest obstacles to that quest, but with Insinna’s help, DelSignore sees the newer Lady Red Devils in particular improving on a steady basis as they gain additional varsity experience.

“Steve is just an outstanding addition to our program,” DelSignore said. “He is very good at pointing out the technical parts of a girl’s game that can be improved. Having him allows our practices to be more individualized. We have many players who had not started in high school tennis before this season, so I am eager to see how they perform in matches.”

The Lady Red Devils return to action Friday by traveling to Lancaster, and then start a busy first full week back to school with contests Monday against Williamsville North, Tuesday against Starpoint and Wednesday at Frontier.


2017-09-06 / Sports

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