Ocean City Today

Wor. Prep tennis players continue court dominance

By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Apr 19, 2018
Photo by: Lisa Capitelli Worcester Prep sophomore Korina Gjikuria plays the ball at the net while her first doubles partner, sophomore Kennedy Humes, looks on. They won their match, 8-0. Worcester’s girls’ team shut out Salisbury School, 7-0.

(April 20, 2018) The Worcester Prep girls’ tennis team shut out the Delmarva Christian Royals on Monday, then on Wednesday, the Lady Mallards and the boys’ squad earned wins over the Salisbury School Dragons.

The Lady Mallards hosted the Royals on Monday in Berlin.

“They just played a really steady match,” Prep Coach Cyndee Hudson said.

Sophomores Annika Larsen (8-2) and Abi Plylar (8-1), senior captains Anchita Batra (8-0) and Hope Sens (8-0), and junior Maya Natesan (8-0) dominated their first through fifth singles opponents, respectively.

“Both No. 1 singles and No. 2 singles knew their opponent, so they knew what they were walking into. We just worked with moving, executing their serves well, playing a variety of shots and it turned out really well,” Hudson said. “I was really pleased with Annika at No. 1. She did a great job, because the girl was a very good hitter and probably the hardest competition all season.”

Sophomores Saylor McGuiness and Mesa Cammack outscored their first doubles opponents, 8-2.

“First doubles had a great match,” Hudson said. “They’re working better at the net, talking and communicating more with each other.”

Sophomores Korina Gjikuria and Kennedy Humes edged out their second doubles competition, 8-4.

The Worcester Prep girls’ and boys’ teams were both at home on Wednesday.

The Lady Mallards again won 7-0, this time over Salisbury School.

Larsen (8-1), Plylar (8-0), Sens (8-0), Natesan (8-1) and freshman Summer Walker (8-0) were victorious at first through fifth singles.

Gjikuria and Humes shut out their first doubles opponents, 8-0. Freshmen Waverly Choy and Marika Vasilikos came out on top, 8-2, at second doubles.

“I was really pleased,” Hudson said. “We were working on placement, on having a variety of shots and on specific skills, and movement and communication with doubles teams.”

The Worcester Prep boys’ squad won 6-1.

“We played pretty well,” Prep Coach Terry Underkoffler said. “They were aggressive at the net, they set up their points well, and they attacked the second serve with tenacity to put away points.”

Juniors Dominic Anthony (8-1), Will Todd (8-1) and Colin Miller (8-0), and senior captain Brendan Miller (8-0) topped their first through fourth singles competition, respectively.

First doubles team, freshmen Ben Brandt and Ryan Brafman, and second doubles pair, junior Graham Hammond and sophomore Frank Carter, both recorded 8-2 wins.

Worcester will take on Stephen Decatur, today, Friday at 4 p.m. The girls will compete on Worcester’s courts, while the boys will play at Decatur.

The boys will play Decatur’s format – four singles and three doubles matches – while the girls will compete in five singles and two doubles matches.

Underkoffler said to be successful the boys’ team needs “good play out of our doubles teams.”

“That will be key,” he said.

Hudson said playing five singles and two doubles matches is an advantage for the Mallards, because, “we’re strong throughout the entire lineup instead of just being top heavy.”

“We need to continue to work on placing the ball and not just be happy with returning it,” Hudson said. “It’s been a strong season and the girl continue to grow.”

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