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2014 Downriver League girls' tennis preview PHOTOS

  • Trenton senior Gabby Wojtala was half of last year’s No. 1 doubles team, which won a league championship and helped the Trojans capture DRL and regional titles.
  • Kennedy junior Rachel Carmody will step into the No. 1 singles spot this spring for Kennedy.
  • Allen Park senior Gabriella Ammiano was part the Jaguars' 2013 No. 3 doubles team, which won a league and a regional title.
After winning Downriver League and regional titles in 2013, Trenton will take the court this spring with some key returners back on a roster made up of 48 girls.

Junior Lauren Solano will likely step back into the No. 1 singles spot, following a season in which she captured a DRL title.

Juniors Brittany Vinca and Elle Kersten are returning after both wining league and regional championships a season ago at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, respectively.

In doubles play, senior Gabrielle Wojtala represents half of last year’s No. 1 duo, which brought home a league title and junior Marissa Reidy was part of last year’s No. 2 team, which won both a league and regional crown.

Other doubles players back for Trenton are juniors Hannah Towe, Evelyn Metric and Megan McNally.

Trenton Coach Lynne Herman will also be look to seniors Sarah Wiltsie and Ella Lemerand, along with sophomores Cassie Vandenberg and Makayla Jorgenson for contributions.

“The large roster we have will be helpful to have another good team,” said Herman. “The work will be tougher this year but we are looking for a successful league and regional tournament.”

The Trojans are scheduled to open their season April 3 at Carlson.



Allen Park

This spring, 10 of the top 12 players from last season have returned for Allen Park, a team which won a regional title and finished second in the league standings in 2013.

In singles play, senior Mallori Young and juniors Jenna Smith and Kayla Hawthorne will be on the court again for the Jaguars

Senior Madelyn Nemeth and junior Olivia Nightingale won a regional crown as last year’s No. 1 doubles team and senior Gabriella Ammiano was part the 2013 No. 3 doubles team, which won a league and a regional title.

Other key doubles players coming back for Bill Riggs’ squad are seniors Jackie Wesner, Sam Light and Rachel Couvreur, along with junior Madison Keys.

Sophomore Natalie Schlesinger and freshman Paige Nightingale will battle for a spot on this year’s varsity squad, Riggs said, as will juniors Bre Posey and Emily Locke.

“We are balanced throughout our lineup,” Riggs said. “We expect every player in the lineup to contribute and be a top player on our team.”

The Jaguars season is scheduled to get underway tomorrow with the Holly Invitational and the team was set to welcome in Ann Arbor Green Hills Monday.



Carlson

At Carlson this season, Coach Brian Herman is tasked with replacing his No. 1 and No. 2 singles players from last year, as well as the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams from 2013.

However, a strong group of players is back for the Marauders, who finished third in the DRL last season.

The squad will be led this year by Maggie Herman, as well as Emily McKinney and senior Hunter Davis. Other returning seniors are Corina Caldwell, Mary Canterbury and Kelsey Boyer.

Herman was both a league and regional runner up at No. 3 singles last year, while McKinney and Boyer captured a regional championship as the No. 4 doubles team.

Brian Herman will also be looking to Nicole Caldwell, Taylor Rago and Miranda Pier for contributions during the 2014 campaign.

“(The) team will be young, but competitive,” he said. “We have a pretty good group of juniors and sophomores vying for those six open spots. (It) will take some time to sort out, but (it’s) a good problem to have.”

For the Marauders, the season is scheduled to get started April 1 at home against Huron.



Kennedy

While it looks to be a rebuilding year for Kennedy, Coach Seoung Lee is optimistic his team will still give its DRL opponents a run for their money this season.

The Eagles graduated several top players, but the 2014 squad will have a strong set of juniors and seniors to rely on.

“Although we lost a group of very talented players last season, this year's team looks to be competitive in the Downriver league,” Seoung said.

Senior co-captains Morgan Stamper and MacKenzie Phillips will help lead the way, along with junior Rachel Carmody, who will step into the No. 1 singles spot.

Last season, Carmody was part of a No. 1 doubles championship at the News-Herald “B” tournament, which was won overall by Kennedy, while Stamper won at the event as part of the No. 2 doubles team.

Along with Carmody and Phillips, juniors Jenna Grabowski, Devon White and Nancy Wu could also see action as singles players.

Stamper, Kelsey Sutyak and Erin Strausser are three seniors projected to see time in doubles play, as are juniors Andrea Campbell, Kelsey Oliver, Brandi Hastings and Alyssa Segura.

Kennedy is scheduled to open its season on Saturday at a tournament in Dearborn and is set to take the court again April 3 at Roosevelt.



Woodhaven

First-year Woodhaven girls’ coach Brian Eckert will lead a big, but very young Warriors team in what looks to be a rebuilding year for the squad.

Out of 42 girls, only four are returners and a total of 30 are either freshman or sophomores, Eckert said.

Back for Woodhaven are seniors Mariah Luna and Molly Mazzella, as well as juniors Gabby Kabeth and Kelsey Gordon.

“This year will be about learning and getting experienced in the league,” Eckert said. “We will play our best, have a fun year, and get our feet wet in the playing experience. Then, with some offseason practices and our interested kids, we will be seriously getting into the fight.”

The Warriors are scheduled to start their season April 3 at home against Allen Park.



Roosevelt

At the helm this spring in Wyandotte is Roosevelt graduate Tom Alexander, who has stepped in as head coach after serving as an assistant with the program since 2008.

Leading Alexander’s squad will be senior co-captains Jessica Mantel and Lindsay Cowell, who will play together as the Bears’ No. 1 doubles team. In 2013, the duo was the No. 2 team and won a regional title and finished as league runner up.

At No. 1 singles will be freshman Robyn Loselle, who was a standout on the school’s cross country team last fall.

As of last week, Alexander said that several other spots were still up for grabs.

Overall, Roosevelt will have six seniors this year, with Mantel, Cowell, Grace Clark, Sabrina Green, Sarah Trusewicz and Kelly Williamson all wrapping up their prep careers.

“I've worked with most of the seniors since they were freshman, so it's an honor to get to coach them in their final season, as well,” Alexander said. “I think the good mix of veterans and new players will work in our favor and lead us to a very successful season.”

Juniors playing for the Bears this year will be Emily Caruso, Emily Baier, Julie Lack, Kayla Adkins, Sarah Fetner and Liz Gage.

The squad’s lone sophomore listed is Elizabeth Arsenault, while Rylee Trombley and Hannah Lavis will join Loselle as the team’s trio of freshman.

For Roosevelt, the 2014 campaign is scheduled to kick off on April 1 with a meet at Grosse Ile.



Anderson

As the season gets started at Anderson, many familiar faces will be in place and ready to compete.

Several returning juniors and seniors are part of a group of more than 40 girls who came out for Coach Ryan Furkas’ squad this year.

Senior Beka Cashmer will take on the No. 1 singles role this season after serving as No. 2 singles last year.

As of last week, Furkas said that several players were still competing for top spots, including seniors Hailey Brandes, Hannah Waara, Emily Roldan, Allyson Flannery, Madison Wilson and Christina Kollias.

Emily Wooten, Brooke Brown and Lindita Sylejmani make up a trio juniors also battling for a spot, as is sophomore Kayla Bacha, who was part of last year’s No. 5 doubles team.

Also looking to get on court are juniors Jenny Vanoss, Valerie Compau, Sydnee Jones and sophomore Lizzy Morisette.

“I'm very excited for the season,” Furkas said. “Many of the girls came out three years ago and really revitalized the program. Since then our numbers have grown and so has the level of competition.”

For the Titans, the 2014 season is scheduled to begin April 3 at Truman.



Lincoln Park

While it was a tough season for Lincoln Park in 2013, this year Coach Roger Gillard has some reasons to be hopeful.

11 players have returned, solid leadership is in place and some talented newcomers have come on strong.

At No. 1 singles will be senior captain Amy Wilson, who has already done well in the leadership role, Gillard said.

“Bottom line is that Lincoln Park has more depth than recent years, and the girls are being challenged in conditioning by…Wilson,” he said.

Stepping into the No. 2 singles spot is first-year junior Charmanique Mayes and as of last week, Gillard said that junior Erica Gonzalez and sophomore Eva Gonzalez were battling for placement between No. 3 and No. 4 singles.

Last year’s No. 1 doubles team of juniors Desree Warren & Linda Adorjani will be back together again, while seniors Laura Vaslo & Madison Timberlake will make up the No. 2 doubles team.

No. 3 doubles will belong to sophomores Mya Crouse & Kim Perez and the No. 4 team will be made up of junior Lubana Nawaz and sophomore Ashley Obergon.



Truman

At Truman, Megan Harple has stepped in for her first season as head coach of the girls’ team.

She will guide a young group of Cougars onto the court this spring, one which has no seniors and only three juniors.

Despite the squad’s youth, about half of the group has at least a year of experience and Harple said her players are enthusiastic and ready to learn.

Returning juniors Madison Lowe, Sarah Bouchard and Lisette LeBron will help lead the team, as will returning sophomores Farah Rmeiti and Rachel Trombetta.

First-year players who could make an impact are sophomores Katie Polito, Karina Kokay and freshman Gicelle Puga.

The Cougars are scheduled to open their 2014 season April 1 at Belleville and are set to travel to Southgate two days later.

Last Updated: 3/21/2014 12:34:19 PM EST

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