Published: April 10, 2021, 8:05 am
There's a new head coach on the Newtown High School girls' tennis court – but in reality, it's not much different from the coach's point of view since the team last started two years ago.
Nancy Anderson, a four-year assistant to the team, takes over the role and former head coach Maureen Maher will serve as an assistant this spring. The trainers are flip-flops to allow for a change in Maher's hours of operation, but both trainers will continue to work together to run the Nighthawks.
"I'm very honored, excited and excited to be leading this team into a successful transition season," said Anderson, a competitive player with more than 30 years of experience on the field who has run adult and junior programs for the past five years Lessons at NYA Sports & Fitness. "I found my happy place in a place where I played and taught this wonderful lifelong sport."
It looks a little different on the square itself. After the lost season last year, there are only three returnees. While the Nighthawks have limited college experience, what they lack in quantity they make up for in quality.
The captains are senior Jen Lorenz, undecided between Penn State and Clemson University, and senior Julia Dolan, who is committed to Harvard. Junior Amelia Hufschmeid is the other returnee.
“With many potential players who have not tried due to quarantine, it is too early to say who will play a decisive role in the coming season. From what we've seen so far, there are some new students and newbies who will add depth to the team, ”Anderson said during the preseason when March made way in early April.
“I have the opportunity to head coach this season and I am very excited to lead this young team as we enter a rebuilding season for future teams. The loss of five seniors after a lost season will be hard to feel this season. However, given the new positive outlook, I'm sure we will regain our foothold, said Anderson, adding that the team will be even stronger next season. "With a slow testing process as many of these prospects have battled quarantines, we remain optimistic that we will regain ground in the next few weeks."
“The goals for the season are to deepen our new players in the rotation and to form a solid leader at the beginning of May. First and foremost, all COVID guidelines are followed so that we do not face lost games and quarantined players. We want to compete with the top teams in the division and, like in the 2019 season, get into the top 4 and hopefully into the top 2, ”said Anderson.
The tough teams include Weston, Joel Barlow from Redding and Pomperaug from Southbury.
The Newtown coach said one of the team's strengths is athleticism. "With a solid pre-season training session, we should be in good shape to be a top contender," said Anderson.
Nancy Anderson [left] and Maureen Maher are doing exercises in preseason training this spring. Anderson and Maher change coaching roles, with Anderson taking on the position of head coach.
Kristen Reisert returns during training. – Bee Photos, Hutchison
Amelia Hufschmied is working on her serve.
The girls' tennis captains are Jen Lorenz and Julia Dolan.