Berkshire County boys and girls tennis previews, 2016

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BOYS TENNIS

Lee

Coach: John Perry

Last year: 1-13

Key returnees: Jed DeVarennes, senior; Ibrahim Zia, freshman

Outlook: Lee has an intriguing mix of youth and experience at the top of its lineup. Senior Jed DeVarennes returns as the likely option at No. 1 singles, but freshman Ibrahim Zia showed he's also capable of manning the top spot. The Wildcats' singles play could receive a boost if one player from the group of Julian Nejaime, Michael Comalli or Sam Polastri can solidify the No. 3 spot. Nejaime and Polastri played together at No. 2 doubles last season.

Lenox

Coach: Tonio Palmer, third year

Last year: 11-5, lost in Western Massachusetts Division III quarterfinal

Key returnees: Henrik Palmer, senior; Hugo Hale, senior.

Outlook: Lenox looks to build off last year's strong season and advance past the first round of the Western Mass tournament. The Millionaires have a very strong duo at the top of their singles lineup led by Henrik Palmer and Hugo Hale, at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Ninth grader Ari Yantovsky will take over as the No. 3 singles players. The doubles teams are not cemented, but returnees Noah Kalischer-Coggins, Ryan Silverstein and Miles Marshall will factor into the rotation. Coach Tonio Palmer said newcomers and multi-sport athletes Cam Abderhalden, Kevin Coakley and Alec Jordan have the potential to contribute as well.

Mount Everett

Coach: Joe McSpiritt, first year

Last year: N/A

Key returnees: Jonas Malicky, junior; Patrick Hogelin, senior.

Outlook: First-year coach Joe McSpiritt takes over a young team that could make strides after last year's losing season. Patrick Hogelin and Jonas Malicky will compete for the No. 1 singles spot. Both players bring experience and athleticism to the team. Eighth grader Eduardo Rodriguez is also in contention for a singles spot. The doubles teams will also be up for grabs, as the collection of Graham Collopy, Sam Webb, Marc Gogel, Kenny Edwards and Seth Ivas battle for the final four spots on the roster.

Monument Mountain

Coach: Hans Doup, first year

Last year: 9-7, lost in Western Massachusetts Division III quarterfinal

Key returnees: Kadin Shafirof, sophomore; Alec Goffin, junior.

Outlook: Monument returns is top two singles players in Kadin Shafirof and Alec Goffin, to a team that is fairly youthful across the roster. Potential No. 2 singles player Kevin Costello is a junior, and the No. 1 doubles team of Jack White and Cyrus Burns are also juniors. The No. 2 doubles team will feature freshmen Caleb Carlson and Noel Powell, or Jonathan Mack and Paolo Lichtenthal.

Mount Greylock

Coach: Stephen Bryant, sixth year.

Last year: 19-1, Western Massachusetts Division III champions, lost in D-III state semifinal.

Key returnees: Matt Wiseman, senior; Gray Kaegi senior

Outlook: The 2015 Mount Greylock boys tennis team rode an undefeated regular season to a Western Massachusetts Division III title, before losing a close match in the state semifinals to Whitinsville Christian. The Mounties must replace All-Eagle MVP Nyein Soe and No. 2 singles players Will Nolan, but the cupboard is far from bare. Junior Josh Narey returns after spending last season at No. 3 singles. Gray Kaegi could move into one of the vacated singles spots, as well. Matt Wiseman and Brady Foehl will elevate to No. 1 doubles after forming a dominate No. 2 doubles team. Sam Dils, Toby Foehl and Benni McCommish will compete for the No. 2 doubles spots.

Pittsfield

Coach: Olivia Schneider, first year

Last year: 5-9

Key returnees: Evan Dempsey, junior; Noah Beckwith, sophomore

Outlook: First-year Pittsfield coach Olivia Schneider said she's noticed a strong sense of chemistry among the team this season. Chemistry will be important, as several players are competing for spots at No. 1 and 2 doubles and third singles. Evan Dempsey is the No. 1 singles option. Noah Beckwith will be the No. 2. Senior Nick Simonds returns with doubles experience, but new players must step into the remaining roles.

GIRLS TENNIS

Lee

Coach: Norma Comalli, second year

Last year: 11-5, lost in the Western Massachusetts Division III quarterfinals.

Key returnees: Sarah Winston, senior; Maddie Desantis, junior

Outlook: Senior captain Sarah Winston returns as Lee's top option as No. 1 singles player. She will be challenged by junior Maddie Desantis. Ava Martin and Suriana Lee are also capable singles players. Ana Wang and Kate Delsignor will be the first double team. Angelique Nejaimie and senior captains Sandra Ortega and Karen Reina will all see doubles actions as well. Comalli said she has a deep and enthusiastic team. The Wildcats have senior leadership in key spots, so improvement from last year is likely.

Lenox:

Coach: Melissa Baron, first year

Last year: 17-2, Western Massachusetts Division III champions, lost in D-III state semifinals.

Key returnees: Liz Jarck, senior; Victoria Vittori, junior.

Outlook: The Lenox girls knocked off three higher-seeded teams en route to a Western Massachusetts title, and the Millionaires return a majority of their championship team, First-year coach Melissa Baron said she expects strong competition from their Berkshire County opponents, but they appear to have the firepower for another postseason run. Liz Jarck and Victoria Vittori return as the top singles options. Sophomore Morgan Hayden also has singles experience. The Millionaires' deep roster gives Baron flexibility when choosing her last five spots. Returning players Ella King, Cami Smachetti and Alexandra Trousilek will compete for spots in the rotation. They'll be challenged by newcomers Hani Chung and Sarah Baron.

Monument Mountain

Coach: Jeff Caligari, fifth year

Last year: 15-3, lost in Western Massachusetts Division III final.

Key Returness: Cara Freadman, senior; Lexi Shumsky, junior.

Outlook: Monument saw its streak of three straight Western Massachusetts Division III championships snapped at the hands of Lenox, but the Spartans appear poised for another postseason run. No. 1 singles player and last year's All-Eagle MVP Cara Freadman returns for her final year on the team. Freadman is one of the most cerebral and consistent players in the county. She went 17-1 last season, setting the tone at the top of the lineup. Lexi Shumsky will take over at No. 2 singles for Molly Amestead. Ava Guidette returns at No. 3 singles. The No. 1 doubles team of Carly Shafiroff and Hailey Higgins returns, while new players must step into the No. 2 doubles role.

Mount Everett

Coach: Asha Von Ruden, first year

Last year: 5-9

Key returnees: Maya Neski, junior; Julia Grober, junior.

Outlook: Mount Everett returns a well-rounded, veteran squad with players returning to familiar roles this season. The Eagles' top three players all return, as Maya Neski will be the No. 1 singles player, followed by Madeline Von Ruden and Julia Grober. The doubles teams are fluid, but the group of Anna Dupont, Kaitlynn Dawson, Shelby Tinker, Ashley Kerzner and Micheala Loring will all be in contention for the final four spots.

Mount Greylock

Coach John Jacobee, second year

Last year: 1-13

Key returnees: Oriana Van Slycke, sophomore; Emma Stankiewicz, sophomore.

Outlook: Mount Greylock enters the season with a very young team, after losing its top two singles players. Coach John Jacobbe said the team's focusing on perfecting its fundamentals and progressing throughout the season. Sophomores Oriana Van Slycke, Emma Stankiewicz and Cedar Keyes will serve as captains and leaders of the team. Seventh graders Charlotte Sanford, Hannah Gilooly and Mia VanDeurzen will challenge for rotation spots. Returners Kate Pfister and Josie Dalsin will also have spots in the rotation.

Pittsfield

Coach: Jennifer Gaudette, second year

Last year: 3-8

Key returnees: Kaytlyn Barcus, senior; Sharanya Ganesh; senior.

Outlook: Pittsfield returns a veteran roster with strength at the singles spots. Last year's No. 1 and No. 2 singles players return in Kaytlyn Barcus and Sharanya Genesh, however, they'll be pushed by German transfer student sophomore Anna Hamel. Gaudette said Hamel has provided a spark to the team. Freshman Katrina Hould will factor into one of the doubles teams. The other spots are undecided.

Contact Akeem Glaspie at 413-496-6252


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