Weekly Feature

2017-04-19 / Sports

Blue Devils tennis team doubles in size


Last year, the Kenmore West boys’ tennis team did not win a match. In fact, with just six guys on the roster, the Blue Devils couldn’t even field a full team. This year, things are looking up. The team has doubled in size to 12 and appears to have a much better chance at competing than last season.

“We doubled our numbers. We have a lot of new guys,” Kenmore West Coach Lisa Siegel said. “There are a few more freshman this year. We have a lot of new faces and they’re working extremely hard. We’re already seeing some amazing improvement with all of them. We’re finally getting to practice outside. Every year I say the same thing: The spring season is so difficult to start playing when you haven’t played at all over the winter.”

The team will have the same top two as last season, with Jake Hooton on first singles and John D’Aquino on second singles. Josh Korman will handle third singles, while Luca Foglia-Lesser and Jayden Thorpe will team up for first doubles. Devontae Halter and Cory Rojas will be the second doubles pairing.

“We have some boys who will be playing exhibition, but we hope to get everyone in at some point,” Siegel said.

While the team may still be rebuilding, it has a different feel than in the past. Many years, the team gets seniors who are coming out for the first time. As soon as they start to show potential, they are lost to graduation. This year’s squad features more youth: a seventh grader, a couple of freshmen and some sophomores.

“It’s very difficult in the early stages. I always say we’re rebuilding. It’s true because whenever we start a year, we get seniors who haven’t played before,” Siegel said. “So you have them for one year and then they leave you. It’s really nice this year that we have a seventh-grader, a couple ninth-graders, 10th-graders and an 11th-grader. We’re really starting to build the team at a younger stage. Hopefully they’ll be with me for years to come, and I’ll be able to help them develop more and more. The seniors might be off and done after this, but they can play for lifetime fitness. Their improvement so far has been great. We’re happy to have a young team.”

The goal for the Blue Devils is improvement. The team isn’t focused on winning the NFL title or sending guys to states just yet. Siegel wants to see her players get better day after day. All eyes are on the future.

“We always have the goal of continuing to improve every day,” Siegel said. “They’re already improving, but we’re looking for more and more every day. We played Lockport in the first match and only won one game in the five matches. We played Niagara Wheatfield after that and did much better. A lot of the kids took their matches to four or five sets. The kids are building confidence and that helps greatly.”

email: tnigrelli@beenews.com

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