Bay­side Ten­nis Pre­view

Dorchester Star - - FRONT PAGE - By WIL­LIAM HAUFE bhaufe@star­dem.com Fol­low me on Twit­ter @Bil­l_Haufe. Email me at bhaufe@star­dem.com

SHILOH — The North Dorch­ester girls ten­nis team fin­ished se­cond to Kent Is­land last year — their best fin­ish dur­ing Jo­lene South’s ten­ure as head coach — and fig­ure to be near the top again this sea­son

The Ea­gles grad­u­ated half their start­ing sin­gles lad­der from last year — Mag­gie Ross and Re­becca Faulkner — but the Allen twins, the two-time state qual­i­fiers and de­fend­ing re­gion cham­pi­ons in dou­bles, pro­vide a solid one-two punch up top.

They have been two of the most dom­i­nant play­ers in Bay­side Con­fer­ence ten­nis his­tory, and fig­ure to con­tinue their high level of play this spring.

But while Kent Is­land High se­nior Ca­t­rina Coyner may not be chal­lenged in con­fer­ence play as she bids for a fourth con­sec­u­tive Re­gion VIII girls’ sin­gles ti­tle, Kent County se­nior Ryan Sant­myer’s road to a pos­si­ble third straight boys’ sin­gles crown may hold a slightly higher de­gree of dif­fi­culty.

“She’s bumped it up a notch where she’ll be a pres­ence at the state tour­na­ment this year,” Kent Is­land head coach Rick Tyng said of Coyner, who in­clud­ing this sea­son’s three wins is now 51-0 against Bay­side com­pe­ti­tion — 39-0 in reg­u­larsea­son play and two con­fer­ence fi­nals, 12-0 at re­gion­als. “She’s more ma­ture on the court. She’s go­ing more for her shots.

“It’s al­ways been sort of a high­risk game with Ca­t­rina,” Tyng said of his star player’s style. “But in the past she’s missed her shots and it’s rat­tled her a bit. And now she’s not miss­ing her shots. And when she does miss her shots she’s men­tally aware enough to not get rat­tled. So it’s just growth and ma­tu­rity I’d say.”

The three-time All-Mid-Shore girls’ player of the year, Coyner made her deep­est run at the state tour­na­ment last year, when she reached the semi­fi­nals, los­ing to even­tual cham­pion Ayana Akli, a sopho­more from Wheaton. Coyner, who lost in last year’s con­so­la­tion match, bring­ing her state mark to 4-4, will bid to be­come the Bay­side’s first state cham­pion in girls’ sin­gles since James M. Ben­nett’s Char­lotte Haber­stroh won the ti­tle in 1983. She is off to a 3-0 start this sea­son, in­clud­ing Wed­nes­day’s 8-0 vic­tory over North Dorch­ester’s Karli Allen, who along with her twin sis­ter Kathryn, qual­i­fied for states last year in dou­bles, and are ar­guably two of the con­fer­ence’s tougher play­ers.

“She’s def­i­nitely gone up a cou­ple lev­els,” Tyng said of Coyner. “I mean I can tell be­cause I hit with her maybe four or five times this win­ter and into the start of sea­son, and I used to beat her rel­a­tively eas­ily. And now I have to play my very, very best to stay on the court with her. That’s re­ally the gauge that I’m us­ing; kind of us­ing my­self as a barom­e­ter.”

Like Coyner, Sant­myer is also a three-time Mid-Shore player of the year, has never lost a reg­u­lar-sea­son match and en­ters this sea­son with a 56-4 record — three losses com­ing at states and a loss in the Re­gion VIII fi­nal his fresh­man year.

“Ryan is an un­be­lie­ve­able ath­lete,” said Matt Webb, head pro at Elk­ton In­door Ten­nis, who has worked with Sant­myer through the years. “He’s good at al­most ev­ery­thing he does. When I first got a hold of him he was do­ing a cou­ple other sports as well. He al­ways had the ath­letic tal­ent, and I’ve had kids have that be­fore. But you need that ten­nis IQ to go with it and that’s re­ally been the big­gest thing; his ten­nis IQ has got­ten much higher.”

Sant­myer could get tested on a few oc­ca­sions this year, pos­si­bly by Queen Anne’s fresh­man Hugh Mee­han — who trailed Sant­myer 3-2 when play was stopped Wed­nes­day be­cause of rain — and Eas­ton’s steady ju­nior Lu­cas Joshi. But Sant­myer still fig­ures to be the player to beat.

“Ryan’s been taught to play like an adult from an early age, mean­ing when he was lit­tle, just like some of the oth­ers that are here, they’re taught an adult game,” Webb said. “And the older he gets the smarter he gets. So he’s be­come much smarter. He doesn’t have to go for the out­right win­ner so much so soon. That would be one of the things he used to do quite a bit.”

While Coyner and Sant­myer hope their games con­tinue to grow, the Kent Is­land girls and Eas­ton boys look to ex­tend their holds on the top spot in the North for a third suc­ces­sive year.

Un­beaten a year ago, the Buc­ca­neers grad­u­ated only Kylie Yesker from last sea­son’s start­ing lineup and are in po­si­tion for another un­de­feated run. Eas­ton’s boys, who fin­ished tied with Queen Anne’s atop the divi­sion last year — win­ning a spot in the con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship on a coin flip — lost Luca Tondin to grad­u­a­tion and fig­ure to bat­tle the Lions and Kent Is­land for the right to rep­re­sent the North again.

Here’s a look at this year’s teams:

Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester

Boys’ head coach Tyler North had only six play­ers last year, his team fin­ish­ing with just five wins. This year he has 18 and the Vik­ings are off to a 3-1 start.

“I guess word’s got­ten around,” North said. “I’ve done a lit­tle bit of re­cruit­ing. I’ve got some ath­letes that have come over from track and field, or lacrosse; just nat­u­ral ath­letes that have come out and pro­vided a big spark to us. It en­ables us to be able to prac­tice a lot bet­ter. It en­ables them to get more com­pe­ti­tion in. It’s just en­abling us to be­come a bet­ter team over­all.”

Last year’s top two play­ers, Phillip Dodge (Sr.) and Jonathan Knox (Jr.), have switched spots on the lad­der, with Dodge at No. 1. Sam Gless­ner, a se­nior co-cap­tain with Dodge, is at 3, while Jasper Hood, a promis­ing fresh­man, is at No. 4. Sopho­mores Faizan Ahmed and Thomas Fra­zier are at No. 3 dou­bles, with Kane Sch­warz (So.), Quadry Lake (Jr.), Ja­cob McClaren (Jr.) and Jonathan Kelly (Jr.) in re­serve.

“I’ve got a very deep team this year, and that’s what is go­ing to be the big key for us this year,” North said. “A lot of these teams are go­ing to have top two or three are go­ing to be very good. But then they should have a lit­tle bit of a drop off and that’s where I ex­pect us to be able to take con­trol of our match is through our depth.”

Se­cond-year girls’ head coach Sandy Shaw is re­build­ing and thinks she has some fresh­men that could climb the lad­der.

Se­niors Sarah Wa­ters, Maken­zie Sel­don, Jo­ce­lyn Spies and Sha­nia Shock­ley are at Nos. 1 through 4. Play­ing No. 1 dou­bles are Kathryn Col­li­son (So.) and Al­li­son Fitzhugh (Sr.), with Tahlia Gibbs (Fr.) and Alexis New­ton (Sr.) at No. 2, and fresh­men Jenny Chen and Aamna Aliv at 3.

Colonel Richard­son

The boys’ team grad­u­ated its top two play­ers from a year ago, Chris Smith and Devin Wil­liams, but re­turn ex­pe­ri­ence and have some depth.

Se­nior Tyler Smith tops the lad­der, fol­lowed by Carl Banks (Jr.), Nick Lewis (Sr.) and Colby Willis (Jr.). Blaine Devela (So.) and Josh Saun­ders (Jr.) are at No. 3 dou­bles and could see time at sin­gles. Head coach Keith Mur­phy also has Eli Stull and De­vante Dou­glas he can ro­tate into the lineup.

The Colonels have 13 on the girls’ ros­ter, in­clud­ing five fresh­men.

“We’re still hav­ing some is­sues work­ing on the lad­der, on our seeds,” girls’ head coach Robert Wil­liams said. “We haven’t had a whole lot of time in terms of chal­lenge matches. I think once we work those things out and we start build­ing more rigor into it I think we’ll be a pretty good team.”

Wil­liams plans to use twin sis­ters Emma Hacker and Zoey Hacker at No. 1 and 3 sin­gles, re­spec­tively, and at No. 1 dou­bles. Katie Doetsch (Jr.) is at No. 2 on the lad­der, while Maddy Rick­wood is at No. 4. Juniors Sarah Harouni and Hai­ley Frase will play dou­bles.

Kent Is­land

The de­fend­ing Re­gion VIII cham­pi­ons look to have the tal­ent to win a se­cond straight crown.

“What I did is I took six kids and ba­si­cally played them in a round robin to es­tab­lish the or­der af­ter Ca­t­rina,” Tyng said of what re­sulted in a three-way tie be­tween se­nior Abby Car­pen­ter and juniors Emily Fron­czek and Celina Kauf­man. “And with these six kids, you can flip a coin on any given day and one can beat the other. And then the next day the score’s re­versed. So I’ll be flip­ping the lineup all around.”

Bound for Wake For­est to play field hockey, Car­pen­ter is at No. 2 fol­lowed by Fron­czek and Celina Kauf­man. Marisa Teti (Jr.) fig­ures to get plenty of play­ing time at sin­gles or dou­bles, while Tyng ro­tates So­phie Solomon (Sr.), Jenny Hous­ton (Sr.), Grace Parks (Sr.), Jess Giron (Jr.), Car­o­line Carmean (Fr.) and Ella Kauf­man (Fr.) in at sin­gles and dou­bles.

The start­ing sin­gles lineup of se­niors Kyle Alle­walt — who won the re­gion’s mixed dou­bles ti­tle with Yesker last year — Con­nor Ab­planalp, Pre­ston Wilder and Ben Schre­con­gost, should have the boys bat­tling Eas­ton and Queen Anne’s for the divi­sion ti­tle. Sopho­mores Alex Coyner — Ca­t­rina’s brother — and Ethan Ridge­way fig­ure to con­trib­ute.

North Dorch­ester

The girls fin­ished se­cond to Kent Is­land last year — their best fin­ish dur­ing Jo­lene South’s ten­ure as head coach — and fig­ure to be near the top again this sea­son

The Ea­gles grad­u­ated half their start­ing sin­gles lad­der from last year — Mag­gie Ross and Re­becca Faulkner — but the Allen twins, the two-time state qual­i­fiers and de­fend­ing re­gion cham­pi­ons in dou­bles, pro­vide a solid one-two punch up top.

“I have two peo­ple at num­ber one and they will be play­ing in­ter­changably,” South said of the Al­lens, who both earned first-team All-MidShore hon­ors a year ago.

Se­nior An­nie Hoff­man and ju­nior Emily Mar­shall are at Nos. 3 and 4, though Kadie Laramore (Sr.) could ro­tate in at sin­gles. Fresh­man tal­ent Mandy Smith will be in the dou­bles mix.

Jer­rad Thomas, who played four years be­fore grad­u­at­ing from North Dorch­ester in 2010, takes over as head coach.

“Ev­ery­thing is where it needs to be at this point in time,” Thomas said. “We’re still in­ex­pe­ri­enced with a lot of things, but at the sea­son pro­gresses we should be all right.”

Thomas said he hopes to be around for a long time and starts with a sin­gles lad­der of Jonathan Chan (Sr.), Dal­ton Ad­shead (Jr.), Jerod Thomas (Jr.) — no re­la­tion — and Will Cot­ten (Sr.). Chan and Ad­shead are at No. 1 dou­bles, Jerod Thomas and Cot­ten are at No. 2, while se­nior Devon Raickle and fresh­man Michael Kroeger play at No. 3

PHOTO WIL­LIAM HAUFE

North Dorch­ester’s Kar­lie and Kathryn Allen pause for a photo af­ter win­ning the 2017 girls’ dou­bles ti­tle at the Re­gion 8 ten­nis cham­pi­onships.

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