Northampton Press

Sunday, October 22, 2017
Press photo by Don HerbLiz Hozza and the girls tennis team were hoping to extend their season in the District 11 team playoffs, but will have to wait and see. Copyright - DonHerb                                               Press photo by Don HerbLiz Hozza and the girls tennis team were hoping to extend their season in the District 11 team playoffs, but will have to wait and see. Copyright - DonHerb

Tennis eyes team berth

Thursday, October 5, 2017 by Wendy Kennedy Special to the Press in Sports

The Northampton girls varsity tennis team is closing out the 2017 season with the same spirit they have kept throughout their schedule - focusing on the positive.

On Friday, the team’s number-four doubles team of seniors Liz Moore and Shannon Reinhard claimed a bronze medal in the East Penn Conference tournament.

On the heels of this achievement, two of the team’s sophomores, Liz Hozza and Rose Sharga, participated in the District 11 singles tournament at Lehigh University on Monday. In the end both singles players were eliminated in the first round of play, but head coach Kim Davis had nothing but praise for his players’ efforts and for multiple achievements throughout the season.

After graduating nine seniors last year, 2017 was a rebuilding year for the girls team. Participation in the sport was strong this year, which helped fortify the team with enough players to form both a varsity and an informal JV squad.

With another six seniors leaving the team after this season, a JV team is a key part of the building process.

“Having a JV team was particularly important to give the younger players some experience,” said Davis.

It’s that experience of playing the game that became the cornerstone of Davis’ coaching this year.

“We focused on improving the basics, playing all the points and not getting upset when we lose a point. I tell them ‘just play,’” Davis said.

While Davis sees room for growth, he also sees great potential in his team.

“We’re a very young team,” explained Davis, “and I tell them every week, that they just don’t realize yet how good they can be. They’re just too new to see it yet.”

But, Davis, who is no stranger to the sport after 21 years coaching the boys tennis team and three years with the girls squad, knows what hard work and persistence can do. Davis went on to praise the effort the team put forward this year.

“We played a lot of really good teams and had a lot of close matches.” Davis said. “There are a lot of good teams out there but we kept a lot of them close.”

Overall, the team ended their regular season with an 8-8 record.

There are no additional matches on their schedule this year but the team is hopeful that the season is not quite over yet. At press time the team was still awaiting word on whether they would qualify to play in the District 11 3A team playoffs. Official word on that decision will come early next week.

The District 11 doubles tournament is also upcoming.