Windsor, N.J. -- Marc Vecchiolla, head coach for women's tennis, is going into the season with a realistic assessment of the tough challenges ahead. But his goal, as always, is to teach the game and ensure that his players have fun while they learn.
Vecchiolla notes that among his team's hurdles is simple math. Practices began with fewer than the six players that are needed to fill all flights in a match. With the recent addition of some new faces, Vecchiolla will be juggling the line-up during the early contests to determine the flights for the season.
The Vikings' second challenge is an exceptionally demanding schedule. Three new teams have joined Region 19. As a result, the Vikings will be playing more matches, a number of them back to back.
Vecchiolla is also looking at a roster that includes only two returning players, and a group that will need to focus first and foremost on game fundamentals. "This is a group that wants to learn. I am looking forward to do a lot of teaching as I help them develop and improve their games," Vecchiolla said.
The roster includes sophomores Nataly Hernandez (Trenton, NJ/Hamilton West HS) and Salomey Owusu (Allenton, NJ/Allentown HS), as well as freshmen Valerie Gapco (Hamilton, NJ/Nottingham),Tiffany Fortier (Princeton, NJ/Lawrence HS), Valerie Gapco (Hamilton, NJ/Nottingham HS), Miranda Leone (Columbus, NJ/No. Burlington HS), Katelyn Reilly (Yardley, PA/Pennsbury East HS), and Kelly Runzer (Chesterffield, NJ/No. Burlington HS).
The Vikings open the season Sept. 10 at Northampton Community College. Vecchiolla plans to use the early matches to determine his flight lineups for the season. “It’s been hard to figure out things so far with our small numbers, but I expect the players we have can do very well.” See the team's full schedule here.
Coach Vecchiolla notes that he is still recruiting players. MCCC students interested in playing tennis who are taking at least 12 credits this semester should contac him at 609-203-9332.
Vecchiolla is assisted this season by Ralph Bencivengo and Barb Pleva.
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