By Nelson Coffin
Fresh off capturing its first-ever tennis title, Garrison Forest will be vying for a repeat when it returns some key performers from last year’s championship squad.
The Grizzlies, however, will face stiff competition from runner-up Bryn Mawr and annual contender McDonogh this fall, not to mention which other A Conference foes rise to challenge the frontrunners.
In the B Conference, rivals of Glenelg Country School won’t have to worry about preventing the Dragons from making it four in a row since the three-time defending champs have moved up to the A Conference this fall.
That leaves last year’s second-place finisher, Friends, in a good position to grab the top spot as well as newcomer Spalding.
Teams are listed in alphabetical order and updates and additions will be added as they are received.
Many thanks to all of the coaches who have responded so far.
BRYN MAWR SCHOOL
COACH: KATE BRENDLER, TILLY TABORDA-ALMAGUER
2017 A CONFERENCE RECORD: 9-0
2017 OVERALL RECORD: 9-0
OUTLOOK: The Mawrtians were not rewarded for sweeping all nine dual-meet matches because they fell to Garrison, 15-14, in the championship tournament last October. Nevertheless, Bryn Mawr will be right back at it this fall with junior Lindsay Thompson leading the way at No. 1 singles. “Bryn Mawr is hoping to play well in each match throughout the regular season and challenge each of our opponents in the tournament,” Brendler said. "(We) welcome the new conference alignments and (look) forward to playing in the A Conference this season.”
COACH: JON JACOBSON
2017 A CONFERENCE RECORD: 1-8
2017 OVERALL RECORD: 1-8
OUTLOOK: After suffering four 3-2 losses a year ago, Jacobson said that had “no problem with our being moved down (to the B Conference) to even up the two conferences.” The Cavs could be a major contender in their new surroundings, with returning players Kate Woyneroski, Grace Bledsoe and Julia Jennings leading the charge. “Paige will play singles and the others will play doubles,” Jacobson said. “Junior Audrey Zarzuela will likely be playing first doubles. Rising JV players Allison Braatz and Kyra Farley will likely be playing third doubles. We have incoming freshmen Sofia Zafiropulos and Kara Stewart, who will be playing important roles — Sofia playing singles for varsity and Kara probably playing singles on JV. We had over 50 girls try out for the team, which shows a lot of interest considering our courts are about 20 minutes from school. We should be pretty competitive in our conference with decent dept.”
COACH: AARON SMOLARZ
2017 B CONFERENCE RECORD: 7-2
2017 OVERALL RECORD: 7-2
OUTLOOK: Senior Amee Rothman, who went 8-2 in doubles last year, and junior Jimena Blasco (9-0 in doubles last year) return to power the Quakers on the court. Smolarz said he is also counting on seniors Sophie lizmi and Victoria Fowler and freshmen Anju Banerjee and Austen Rende to stay in the title hunt this fall. “Friends is striving to finish in the top four in the conference,” he said. “We are excited with the new conference alignment and playing some new teams!.”
MOUNT DE SALES ACADEMY
COACH: RUTH KALSCHEUR
2017 A CONFERENCE RECORD: 2-7
2017 OVERALL RECORD: 2-8
OUTLOOK: The No. 1 doubles tandem of Kristen Zaranski and Lilly Pope return to give the Sailors a boost in their new B Conference digs. “They are strong net players with a knack for the ball,” Kalscheur said. “We are happy to see many of our JV players from previous years greatly improve their skills and confidence to now contribute at the varsity level this season. It should be an exciting season in the new conference, seeing some new teams and some old familiar ones. We’re hoping to fight it out against each of them.”
ST. TIMOTHY’S SCHOOL
COACH: RICHARD WHITING JR
2017 B CONFERENCE RECORD: 6-3
2017 OVERALL RECORD: 6-3
OUTLOOK: “We have three returning varsity players all whom played in the individual championships in singles and doubles last year,” Whiting said. “Our top player, Sophie Keeble, is back. She is taller, stronger and another year of experience behind her. She will again be a formidable opponent. We have five new girls, who are welcome additions to the team. We should again this year compete with the best that this division has to offer.”