2019 girls tennis season preview

Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 4/27/2019

2019 Preview: Centaurs primed for run

 

The goal of the Woodstock Academy girls tennis team is easy to say.

 

“Beat Stonington,” Woodstock Academy sophomore Hannah Darigan said.

 

That’s not so easy to accomplish.

 

Many Eastern Connecticut Conference teams try to do that on an annual basis.

 

Few experience success.

 

The last time the Bears lost in the ECC was in 2014 when they fell twice to Waterford and once to East Lyme.

 

Still, veteran coach Ann Rathbone thinks the Centaurs could make something happen this season.

 

“I think we have a legitimate chance to win the league,” Rathbone said. “We have lots of potential. We’re solid in singles and we just have to figure out the doubles.”

 

The Centaurs did lose their top singles player, Clara Siegmund, who is now playing at Rhode Island College and experiencing success at the next level.

 

But Rathbone, who enters her 32nd year at the helm of the girls program, has some solid players returning and Darigan said the team also has a little intangible going for them.

 

“We have a great group of girls this year, an amazing chemistry, better than ever before and a lot of talent, too,” Darigan said. “I felt at home with the program right from the beginning. The girls have been so welcoming and with the amount of freshman we have this year that is really good.”

 

Seniors Mari Ruggeri and Morgan Bassett will be atop the singles to start and the Centaurs (15-6 last season) success may be somewhat predicated on theirs.

 

“They have to step up to being Nos. 1 and 2,” Rathbone said.

 

Junior Rachel Holden saw some singles activity last year and Rathbone thinks Darigan has the potential to also move up from doubles.

 

“It’s been a goal of mine for a while,” Darigan said. “I played doubles last year, I loved it, but once you get a taste of singles, there is no going back.”

 

To make that a possibility, Darigan and some of her teammates have been working in the offseason.

 

According to the sophomore, it shows.

 

“A lot of people have improved their game. A lot of people in the offseason were going to outside coaches and there has been a lot of improvement in both power and placement,” Darigan said.

 

Although she is young, Darigan has quickly learned the importance of honing one’s craft.

 

“It’s everything,” Darigan said of the offseason work. “Throughout the season, you don’t have much time to practice the little skills that you need improvement on because you’re just trying to win. Offseason is very important.”

 

Juniors Caitlin Sroczenski, Emma Durand, Izetta Asikainen, Rachel Lambert, Sophia Rakovan and Annabelle Bastura are all in the mix for both singles and doubles play.

 

Freshmen Adeline Smith and Jacqueline Trudeau have also been nice additions for the Centaurs.