Fraser,Clinton TownshipApril 30, 2014
Fraser and Chippewa Valley take to the court in MAC tennis play
By Thomas Franz
C & G Staff Writer
Fraser senior Megan Klein returns a shot during a match against Utica Ford on April 24. Klein is a captain and plays at No. 3 singles for the Ramblers.
FRASER — With a mix of youth and experience this spring, Fraser tennis coach Greg Dailida has his sights set on the present, but also has an eye on the future.
Three of Fraser’s singles players will be returning next year, but the Ramblers’ quartet of seniors balance out the youthful lineup with experience and leadership.
“We hope to have a ton of success this year for everybody’s sake, especially for the seniors who have put in a lot of time the last couple years getting here,” Dalida said. “We’ll return a really good core of girls to help try to take us to another level, and try to keep building the program and keep getting better.”
Senior captains Megan Klein (No. 3 singles) and Sydnie Qasawa (No. 1 doubles) are leading the way for Fraser.
Junior Tabitha Reamore is playing at No. 1 singles for the second consecutive year, while freshman Noel Bielski is playing at No. 2 singles.
“Tabitha (Reamore) played No. 1 last year, so her skill level has been there. She’s been a little more consistent than she was last year, and she really works,” Dalida said. “She just wants to hit a lot of balls in play, and she really finds ways to win matches. There’s not just one way she wants to win a point; she just scraps.”
Despite struggling to get proper practice time due to weather conditions, Dalida has noticed quite a bit of improvement from his team so far this spring.
“We’ve seen a lot more consistency and a lot more intentional shot making, instead of just hitting the ball around the court,” Dalida said. “It’s not just one ball at a time; they’re thinking and building through points, and consistency allows them to do that. It’s a lot more point structure.”
In doubles, Qasawa joins junior Lynn Pytell at No. 1, while senior Danielle Maclean is joined by Sarah Uddin at No. 2.
At press time, Fraser was 1-2 in the MAC Blue. The Ramblers will host the MAC Blue division tournament on May 6.
Big Reds strong in singles
Featuring two sophomores and a freshman in his singles lineup, Chippewa Valley coach Joe Silbernagel has found success with his young athletes.
After an April 23 match against Sterling Heights Stevenson, freshman Victoria Ochs was off to a 5-0 start at No. 3 singles, while sophomore Natalie Bradley was out to a 4-1 start at No. 4 singles. Two of Chippewa’s captains, sophomore Bella Russo and senior Arianna Steva, round out the Big Reds’ singles lineup.
“Our strength is in our singles right now,” Silbernagel said. “We’ve won a majority of our singles matches this year, and we should be pretty competitive one through four.”
“Victoria (Ochs) is just a natural at it. She played basketball and now this, so she’ll be good next year and has potential,” Silbernagel said. “Bradley moved up from JV and is our No. 4 now, and she’s worked hard to improve her stroke.”
In doubles, juniors Miranda Pal and Jacquelyn Olle will play at No. 1, while captains Lexi Durocher and Frankie Zancheta team up in the No. 2 slot. Sophomore Kayla Verhelle, and seniors Mariangela Orlando and Sarah Schyll, also return to the doubles lineup.
“They’re all very close, in terms of ability. With the weather, I put them with similar people, and they’re pretty competitive,” Silbernagel said of his doubles teams. “As the season goes on, we’ll surprise some people, especially if we can get some production out of our doubles. We’ll be good.”
Chippewa had a 1-2-2 overall record with a 1-1-1 mark in the MAC Blue at press time. The Big Reds defeated Sterling Heights Stevenson 6-2 on April 23. They will visit Fraser for a dual on April 30.