After devastating losses ended the 2013 seasons for both the boys and girls tennis teams, both Pace squads look to their past defeats to fuel the fire that will spark a championship run in 2014.
The girls team looks as strong as ever after only losing two seniors this year while gaining four new players. Senior and junior doubles combo Maria Grenader and Pate Hardison are both returning to the court this year and have three years of experience playing together. “They’re like a well oiled machine at this point… and will be really tough to beat,” said coach Sara Eden. Sophomore Nicole Shafer and freshman Zoe Weitzner are expected to be powerful singles players this year.
The girls team definitely doesn’t lack the motivation and work ethic they believe they need to succeed this upcoming season. “We’ve been training a ton and the effort will definitely pay off,” said Pate, “I think we’re going to be a really hard team to beat for it.” Junior Anna Hoffman was even more optimistic, saying, “The varsity girls tennis team, in my opinion, is the strongest team at Pace Academy. Not only were we region champions last year, we made it to semifinals at state. Although we ultimately lost at state, our fate will not be the same this year. With new additions and more determined players, we will finish the season as state champions and come out on top.”
The boys team has high hopes for the season as well. After heartbreaking defeats in the semifinals the past two years, many players can’t wait to start the season and have another chance to win a championship. The team lost very few players and still has a ton of talent on its roster. Returning seniors and star players Jay Kumar, Daniel Gray and David Martos are all determined to push the team to new heights this season. After two close-game losses deep within the playoffs over the past two years, expect these seniors to be motivated and passionate about bringing the state championship trophy back home to Pace. The entire team has been working and training hard to prepare for the regular season, and expectations for the group are running high. “My expectation this year is to bring the state title home, said Jay, “I know we have a talented team and can definitely produce the result.”