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Girls Tennis: Team-by-team preview capsules for 2019

Girls Tennis: Team-by-team preview capsules for 2019
Winters Mill's Heather Fettke Von Koecritz returns a ball during her semifinal singles match against Manchester Valley's Ellie Johnson during the Carroll County Tennis Tournament in Westminster Monday, May 8, 2017. (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

CENTURY

Coach: Amber Nievod, 10th year

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Last year’s record: 9-3, 9-3 county

First match: March 25 at Man Valley, 4

Key losses: Jessica Conway, Anna Parish, Leah Sharkey

Key returners: Emma Carver, junior; Kaitlin Conway, junior; Jess McClelland, senior; Michaela Wolcott, senior

Outlook: The Knights have their share of holes to fill in the lineup, perhaps the biggest the reigning Player of the Year in Sharkey. Neivod said via email the sophomore is passing on high school tennis to focus on her USTA career. Kaitlin Conway played second singles a year ago and went 10-2. “We hope to be better than 50 percent for the season and have some strong hopefuls for our new regional competition,” Nievod said.

FRANCIS SCOTT KEY

Coaches: Michele Romeo, 5th year; Olga Smith, 4th year

Last year’s record: 3-10, 3-9 county

First match: March 25 vs. Westminster, 4

Key losses: Riley Bittner, Elena Rippeon, Joelle Snader, Nicole Velotta

Key returners: Devyn Schuman, junior; Emma Smith, senior; Jocelyn Snader, junior; Karla Stonesifer, senior

Outlook: French said via email FSK will have a new look this spring, with the loss of a crop of four-year players. Jocelyn Snader and Velotta went 7-3 as the Eagles’ No. 2 doubles team. “We are excited to see how our returning players as well as new players rise to the occasion and their new spots on the team,” French said.

LIBERTY

Coaches: Tim Brecker, 24th year; Barry Green, 5th year

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Last year’s record: 12-0, 12-0 county

First match: March 26 vs. Winters Mill, 4

Key losses: Kendall Hardesty, Hannah Steier, Shannon Sevier, Allie Woodward

Key returners: Jane Aldakkour, junior; Emily Brecker, junior; Faith Coleman, junior; Noelle Htwar, junior; Grace Johnson, sophomore; Emily Smith, senior; Alyssa Vandenberge, sophomore

Outlook: Hardesty, Steier, and Woodward were all first-team all-county picks in 2018, as was Emily Brecker and Htwar. The Lions won their 10th straight county title last spring, and have a winning streak of 63 consecutive matches. Brecker and Htwar look to repeat as girls doubles county champs. “Emily Smith is the only senior so it is a young squad this year,” Tim Brecker said via email.

MANCHESTER VALLEY

Coach: Lisa Jackson, 3rd year

Last year’s record: 7-8, 4-8 county

Next match: March 25 vs. Century, 4

Key loss: Ellie Johnson

Key returners: Libby Harford, senior; Lindsey Harford, senior; Naya Wagner, senior

Outlook: The Mavericks have a big void to fill with the graduation of Johnson, who went 14-5 at No. 1 singles last spring and took second at the county and regional tournaments. But Jackson returns her share of skill — sophomore Carly Jarkiewicz and junior Landyn Bien each have regional experience. “We are thrilled to have many new players to the team,” Jackson said via email.

SOUTH CARROLL

Coach: Sandy Ebeling, 4th year

Last year’s record: 10-4, 8-4 county

Next match: March 25 at Winters Mill, 4

Key losses: Caroline Downing, Madi Radnoff

Key returners: Jess Beddow, senior; Faith Hawkins, senior; Meghan Radnoff, junior; Julia Simoncini, junior; Nicole Strong, junior

Outlook: “We have a strong core of juniors coming back this year and hoping to build on last year’s success,” said Ebeling via email, and she’s returning second-team all-county talent in Meghan Radnoff, Simoncini, and Strong. Watch for Casey Reno, a freshman, to fill the No. 1 singles slot this spring. The Cavs went from one win in 2017 to 10 in 2018.

WESTMINSTER

Coach: Jen Ruppert, 3rd year

Last year’s record: 3-9, 3-9 county

Next match: March 25 at Francis Scott Key, 4

Key loss: Mariana Yeager

Key returners: Abby Cwiek, sophomore; Audrey Detrow, junior; Kate Ruppert, senior

Outlook: Kate Ruppert is back after playing first singles in 2018 (she placed sixth at the county tournament). Also back is Cwiek, who played doubles with fellow sophomore Amber Manspeaker a year ago. “We are fortunate to have so many players returning this year,” Jen Ruppert said via email. “We look to improve upon last year's record and develop our game and sharpen our skills.”

WINTERS MILL

Coaches: Brad Davidson, 1st year; Eric Mezsaros, 1st year

Last year’s record: 3-9, 3-9 county

First match: March 25 vs. South Carroll, 4

Key losses: Dana Byron, Heather Fettke Von Koeckritz, Edie Reilly

Key returners: Erin Saunders, Bella Sterner, Olivia Zellers

Outlook: Fettke Von Koeckritz earned second-team all-county honors last season, and played singles alongside Reilly. That means Davidson and Mezsaros have some rebuilding to do, but Davidson said via email the help from coach Craig Weiss had given the Falcons some consistency starting out, “which will help our girls to rebuild the team as the season begins this week.”

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