The Portsmouth, Middletown and Rogers high school tennis teams are all playing in Division II this season, so there are multiple chances to see rivalry matches. Making local coaching debuts this season are David Maloney at Rogers and Lynne Turner at Tiverton.
The Tigers are in Division III and play a 16-game schedule, the same number of games as the Division II teams. Coaches from the local teams told The Daily News who they think their players were to watch this season.
What’s on the program:What to expect from The Newport Daily News and its coverage of fall high school sports
Keara McEnroe, Middletown
No. 1 singles, seniors
McEnroe will return to the same spot at the top of the lineup, but will look more like a McEnroe 2.0 version of himself compared to the previous season.
Shes made significant improvement, Islanders coach Jake Cathers said. As they say in baseball, I call her a player with five tools. She has no weaknesses in positioning on the pitch.
She’s solid everywhere. She is not rattled and she is mentally strong. She is technically strong and a very strong player in all facets of the game.
Isabella Student, Rogers
No 1singles, junior
Isabella Student is not just a student, she is a transfer student from Germany who makes friends and has an immediate impact on the tennis team
All the girls immediately got her number in their phones, said Viking coach David Maloney. It’s a good group of girls.
She is quite quiet, but knows the language. She concentrates very well when playing points in a game and is quite a focused player. She has good foundations and a very nice slice forehand and backhand.
Talus Nightingale, Portsmouth
Number 1 singles, sophomore
Nightingale played number 2 singles last season, but has moved up to the top spot this year.
Shes strong with excellent groundstrokes, said Portsmouth coach Mark Hedden. She puts a lot of pace on the ball. I’ve seen a lot more consistency from her this season so far.
She had a problem trying to end a point too fast and pull the trigger too fast. Looks like she’s learned how to make a point. You have to be patient and she develops that.
Sam Bettencourt, Tiverton
No. 1 singles, juniors
It didn’t take long for new coach Lynne Turner to see that Bettencourt and Isabel Del Deo were her two top players.
I didn’t get much of a chance to see Samantha and Isabel play (a ladder match), Turner said. What I could see was a lot of sidewalk skimming as Samantha hit the ball so low that it would double bounce before Isabel could get to it.
Samantha has a great shot, great placement. She is quite strong on the ball and hits with power.
Grace Rochelle, Rogers
No.2 singles, freshmen
Rochelle jumped right in as a ninth-grader and played her way to at least the No. 2 position when she battled Isabella Student for first place.
They are about equal in power. Challenge matches will decide who becomes the No. 1 player, said Rogers coach David Maloney.
Rochelle knows the game and has played almost all year, but never for a team.
Grace has more of a topspin forehand and backhand. It’s a little different, Maloney said. She is in excellent shape and mentally very strong for a freshman.
Isabel Del Deo, Tiverton
No. 2 singles, seniors
New Tiverton head coach Lynne Turner, a member of the Dartmouth Indoor Tennis 3.5 team and a resident of that Massachusetts town, has been busy tracking the nine players she’s seen so far since the first week of the season. training. Del Deo stood out from the start and she is the captain of Tigers this season.
Shes more of a finesse player, Turner said. She has really good placement and a really nice stroke. She constantly runs to the ball and reaches it.
Sam Aldrich, Middletown
No. 2 singles, seniors
Tennis is a physical as well as a mental game and Aldrich has stepped up in both areas.
In the early season, I’ve seen her take a big step with her mental toughness, said Middletown coach Jake Cathers. Last year she had a hard time when she got knocked down a game or a set and couldn’t get out of the hole. Conversely, if she was ahead, she let go of the gas.
This year she looks more determined and confident. She is also very consistent and she will not beat herself with casual mistakes.
Dylan OConnor, Portsmouth
OConnor, a co-captain, competed for the second singles slot pending ladder matches, but will be playing singles for the first time in her high school career.
Last year when the season started, she probably improved before my eyes, said Portsmouth coach Mark Hedden. The more she stood on the field, the more she understood.
She kept grinding and grinding and it was impressive to watch. Her strokes are so smooth now. She is also a good role model for the other girls.
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