It didn’t take long to find out how well the Ocean City High School girls tennis program would respond to adversity. The Red Raiders lost their first two matches of the season to Millville, Sept. 10, and Mainland, Sept. 11. Let’s say that they responded convincingly, winning several matches in a row, including rematches against Millville and Mainland.
Coaches and players on the roster, including senior captains Brynn Bowman, Cynthia Brown, Kate Carter, Ashley Devlin, Jordan Moyer, and Brooke Powell, collectively deserve credit for a double-digit win streak.
Moyer first swung a tennis racket at age seven, but her competitive career began as a freshman. She credits her dad for introducing her to the sport.
She sees her serves, backhand, and endurance as being among her strengths on the court, and wants to improve her response to the mental aspect of the sport.
“My personal goals for this season are to have fun playing the sport that I love,’’ Moyer said. “I also have a goal to have a better record than last year, and to hopefully make it to the semifinals or finals of the CAL (Cape Atlantic League).
“I hope that my team can win the conference and make it far in the playoffs. We started off slow, but I have faith that we can make it far.’’
Bowman started her competitive tennis career also as a freshman. She enjoys the fact that high school tennis is a fast-paced sport, with both individual and team components.
“My strengths during my matches are at the net,’’ Bowman said. “I also love the backhand – I can always trust it. I would like to improve my forehand.
“Some of my personal goals for the season are definitely winning the CAL Tournament, and doing well in the state (sectional tournament). Just like last year, I’d like to see my team win the CALs. This would be a great accomplishment.’’
Powell started her competitive career at 16 years old, and feels that her strengths are her serves and backhand.
“All of my friends played, and it looked like an enjoyable sport that I could play for the rest of my life,’’ Powell said. “I really would like to work my placement of the ball, as well as my net play.
“A goal that I would really like to see my team achieve would be to win as many matches as possible, and to work very well as a team throughout the season.’’
Brown was encouraged by her mom, a fellow tennis player, to take lessons.
“I love playing the net, and I find that I’m good at putting shots away during the match,’’ Brown said. “I hope to compete to the best of my ability and support the team in positive ways.
“My parents have been my most positive influence in my tennis career. They have always supported me in my decisions and have encouraged me along the way.’’
Carter, another player who began competing as a freshman, feels that her strengths include a powerful strike to the ball.
“I would like to improve upon my topspin, making the ball travel faster with more pace,’’ Carter said. “I would also like to work on my consistency.
“My personal goal is to simply have fun and play as well as I can. I would like to see us win the CAL, but also just play our best.’’
Devlin, who started competing as a sophomore, also wanted to play a sport that could become a lifelong activity. She believes that her strengths are her backhand shots and aggression at the net.
“A personal goal for this season is winning the CAL Tournament with my doubles partner,’’ Devlin said. “One goal I’d like to see my team achieve is winning the CAL.
“My mom is a positive influence on my career. She played in high school and college, and is always looking to improve my skills.’’
Ocean City was superb in the NJSIAA South Jersey Group III Sectional Tournament, defeating Hammonton and Clearview.
“The captains always lead by example,’’ head coach Samantha Dimatteo said. “They work hard in matches and at practice to help maintain a level of play that is necessary for a successful season.
“Charis Holmes, sophomore, had demonstrated character and has a strong work ethic. She is the youngest member of varsity, and she has been a wonderful addition to the lineup.’’
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