By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – The St. Paul Catholic girls tennis team has been the standard of excellence in the Mum City but Bristol Central had one heck of a 2015 campaign as well.
Will Bristol Eastern join that group as well this season?
St. Paul always carries an excellent squad but several players have graduated from the team while the Rams should be a tough outfit once again.
Here’s just some of the things to look for this season as the teams from Bristol have hit the tennis courts once more:
BRISTOL CENTRAL GIRLS TENNIS
Head Coach: Richard “Ricky” Block
Last Season: 15-4 overall
State Tournament: In the qualifying run in the Class L bracket, Central defeated crosstown rival Bristol Eastern 4-3 before the seventh ranked program was shutout by Greenwich 6-0 in first round action.
Players to Watch: Jessica McAllister (sr.); Abigail Palmieri (sr.); Jena Varley (sr.); Sarah Warkoski (sr.); Ava Gorneault (jr.); Emilie LeBlanc (jr.); Emily McAllister (jr.); Amanda St. Pierre (so.); Taylor Soucy (so.); Kylie Sassu (so.); Tahlia Ramos (so.); Olivia Rajotte (so.); Mackenzie Lindroth (so.); Abigail Goralski (so.); Mersadez Chaleman (so.); Nana Affainie (so.); Ebony Agustin (fr.); Alania Bell (fr.); Dulce Cruz Flores (fr.); Emilie Dube (fr.); Abigail Gorneault (fr.); Tijhuan Grant-Christie (fr.); Masaba Hashem (fr.); Kosal Sophavanntey Heng (fr.); Yan Zhu (fr.); Shiana Perez (fr.), Adalia Malick (fr.).
Outlook: Block is putting together quite a program at Central and the defending CCC South champs are looking for its first CCC South Blue Division title.
The program earned 14 regular seasons wins last season and hope to repeat that kind of success once again.
The program had to replace about a half dozen talented seniors but the knowledgable Block is the right man to all the pieces back into play once again.
And he has a couple players back from last year’s 14-win campaign who will help out immediately.
Senior Jess McAllister saw some success in singles action last season as did junior Ava Gorneault.
Junior Emily McAllister and senior Sarah Warkoski each played in doubles action for the Rams in 2015 and also will be featured players on the court.
BRISTOL EASTERN GIRLS TENNIS
Head Coach: Barbara Lessard
Last Season: 9-10 overall
State Tournament: Ranked No. 26, the Lancers fell to Bristol Central in first round action, 4-3, to end its season.
Seniors Include: Angela Daley, Carli Beveridge, Corey Bodak, Nicole Camasura, Morgan Dauphinee, Yanina De la Torre, Kim Edgerly, and Morgan Murphy.
Outlook: Eastern has plenty of senior talent and that’s what coach Barbara Lessard is depending on.
The program is still growing. going 9-10 last season, and there are a significant number of sophomores and freshmen in this year’s program that the team will turn to.
Senior Angela Daley may slide into that first position in singles and is certainly experienced as well junior Hannah Langlais.
Senior Kim Edgerly saw plenty of action in doubles action last campaign along with seniors Carli Beveridge and Morgan Murphy.
Other seniors who could be thrust into the starting line-up includes Nicole Camasura and Corey Bodak.
- PAUL CATHOLIC GIRLS TENNIS
Head Coach: Beth Hines
Last Season: The Falcons were 10-6 overall
State Tournament: Ranked No. 11, St. Paul fell to No. 6 St. Bernard in first round action, 7-0.
Key Subtractions: Alyssa Yum; Jill Murray; Brittany Kennedy; Isabella Sabino
Players to Watch: Katie Pauloz (sophomore); Olivia Kilbourne (senior); Mariah Fiscella (junior); Maddie Shea (junior); Maggie Carpenter (senior); Sophia Penisse (junior); Caroline Badel (sophomore); Maria Aliberti (senior); Victoria Bairos (junior); Grace Carey (junior); Jaymie Bianca (junior); Brianna Chang (senior); Alexia Chrzanowski (junior); Tessa Coleman (sophomore); Victoria Dipinto (sophomore); Liz Etter (sophomore); Aimee Gervais (senior); Victoria Kilbourne (sophomore); Lucy Min (so.); Amethyst Peterson (senior); Isabella Russo (senior); Nadia Skarba (junior); Nicole Wroblewski (so.).
Outlook: St. Paul Catholic lost a number of senior participants but the squad still has plenty of quality players.
It’s about getting experience early in the season to see exactly where the program sits this year.
But there are some veterans returning to the fold that will lead the team off the bat.
In singles action last season, Tori Kilbourne (sophomore), Caroline Badel (sophomore), Sophia Penisse (junior), Katie Pauloz (sophomore), and Brianna Cheng (senior) all made gains throughout the season.
A number of those players mentioned were also sandwiched into doubles roles and that group could swing as needed.
Also, Mariah Fiscella (junior), Maddie Shea (junior), Maggie Carpenter (senior) could earn several starts in singles and doubles action.