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High school tennis notepad: Bears hope to gain from pain
Maria Sylvia and her Massaponax girls tennis teammates may be dealing with a losing season this year. But head coach John Shinberger said while they’re taking their lumps now, the Panthers’ future looks bright.
Sylvia is Massaponax’s No. 1 player as a sophomore. She’s consistently suffered setbacks to upperclassmen. Shinberger is hoping the lessons learned now will pay off over the next two years.
“She’s a year away,” Shinberger said of Sylvia. “She’s got the athleticism. I think it’s just the mental side of it. She’s been pounded by seniors. She’s been up and down, but she’s going to blossom these next two years.”
Sylvia plays golf in the fall and Shinberger said she “dabbles” in lacrosse, as well. She’s played sparingly for Massaponax’s club lacrosse team. Shinberger said he believes tennis is still her top priority.
“She likes all sports,” Shinberger said. “But I think tennis is what she truly likes. Her mom plays tennis. Her brother plays tennis. There’s a lot of tennis around her.”
Entering this season, Shinberger was hoping the Panthers could break even in their 16 contests. But through 12 games, they are 3–9.
They have a chance to add to their win total with three matches this week. They host North Stafford on Wednesday. That match is followed by a trip to Mountain View on Thursday and Senior Day at home on Friday against Orange.
Shinberger is hopeful the Panthers will win at least two of those matches. They defeated both North Stafford and Orange earlier this season.
“Orange was missing three of their top players, but we beat them 8–1,” Shinberger said. “We beat North Stafford 6–3. That could go either way, but I’m confident we can beat Orange.”
—Taft Coghill Jr.
STANDINGS (Through Friday)
Colonial Forge 7–3
North Stafford 5–7
Mountain View 3–7
Brooke Point 0–11
Eastern View 7–1
James Monroe 7–1
King George 1–7
Colonial Forge 8–3
Mountain View 6–4
Brooke Point 3–8
North Stafford 1–11
James Monroe 8–0
Eastern View 6–2
King George 1–7