By Dan Shriner
Even though this season may be a rebuilding one for Lake Orion’s girls varsity tennis team, the young Dragons are 3-1 and looking for more success.
The girls defeated Royal Oak on Monday, 5-3.
Coach Eric Bracciano said he has been pleased with the effort and hard work by the team this season.
“We had a huge turnout this year. There were 62 girls try out. It was wonderful to have so much interest and excitement in the program. There is a lot of excitement in tennis now at Lake Orion.”
Three of the team’s top singles players last season graduated and Bracciano said the group now has only four seniors. The bulk of the players are juniors with one sophomore and one freshman.
The three captains are senior Sophie Partington and juniors Kaila McCormack and Alyssa Bowden.
“We graduated quite a few of our girls, three of our four singles players. Sophie Partington would usually be playing number one single but she is battling some injuries and is playing on number one doubles,” Bracciano said.
Partington and Bowden won their doubles match on Monday, defeating their Royal Oak opponents, 7-5, 6-3.
“We are rebuilding but things are going great. Girls are working hard,” he said.
The team competes in the OAA White Division. They have wins against Ortonville, Farmington Hills Harrison as well as the one against Royal Oak. Their one loss came against Berkley and Bracciano said that squad was very good.
Kayla Bruner is playing number one singles. McCormack is the number two singles. Jessica Laconis is number three and Kendra Nylen is number four singles. Gabrielle Garlicki is also expected to contribute to the team’s success. Both Laconis and Nylen won their matches against Royal Oak.
Gabrielle Hamay and Payge Lindow are the number two doubles. Junior Elizabeth Cunningham and freshman Sarah VanRooyen are the number three doubles and Emily Kulkis and Skylar Dawson are number four.
Hamay and Lindow won their match against Royal Oak, 6-3, 6-3.
“The team is doing really well together working as a team. They get along and support each other. That’s very important. It’s been a lot of fun so far. They want to work hard and even though it’s a rebuilding year, they are learning a lot and are excited about this season and next year,” Bracciano said.
By Dan Shriner