Tennis, young squad
Spring has sprung in Pueblo West and with that brings green grass, warmer temperatures and the start of spring sports. The Cyclone girl’s tennis team is starting the season off strong with hopes to repeat the same success they’ve had the past years.
With 33 girls playing this year, head coach Sam Pisciotta is anxious to see what this season brings.
The team consists of three squads: Varsity (the top 11 girls on the team ladder who will go on to represent Pueblo West High School in the post-season play; Varsity 2 squad (the next 11 girls on the ladder who will play a combination of varsity and sub-varsity dual matches); and the JV squad (which consists of the remaining players on the team).
The Lady Cyclones won back to back Region 7 championships in 2012 and 2013 and last year saw 7 of the 11 varsity squad members leave for graduation. This year’s varsity squad consists of four returners and seven players who are new to the squad. Return players include Sarah Megilligan and Caitie McCarthy, both sophomores who played No. 1 doubles last season; senior Taylor Gaide who played No. 2 doubles last season, and sophomore Serena McCown who played No. 4 doubles last season. All four returning girls were regional champions and state semi-finalists in 2013.
In addition, senior Jaymie Masters will also be returning to play varsity after taking her junior year off. Jaymie was a regional runner up and state qualifier at No. 3 doubles her sophomore year.
Three members of last year’s varsity No. 2 squad have moved up into varsity this season: Junior Roslyn Quintana, sophomore Kristen Bertoldo, and Caroline Cavender.
In addition, three strong freshman have joined the squad: Morgan Blackford, Annemarie Parker, and Sara Schoenbeck.
“Our goal for this year is to have a strong year and play better as the season goes on. As in the years past, the team is looking forward to the state tournament. We hope to send all of our varsity team members to the 4A State Tournament held at Pueblo City Park Tennis Complex on May 8-10. Last year we had all squad members reach the semi-finals at state and we hope our young team can repeat that showing again this year,” said Coach Pisciotta
Coach Pisciotta is excited for each of his players and believes that each of them are capable of having a very successful season.
The Lady Cyclones is a younger squad this year, with 8 of the 11 players being underclassmen, but Coach Pisciotta is pleased with how well the practices have been going and thinks they will be able to capitalize on winning.
“Our squad is young but these young players have all been practicing and playing since their middle school year or younger, and they are ready to join their old teammates this season. I think we are going to be much stronger than most people might predict. These girls are young but they’ve been around tennis and understand competition. Our freshman, in particular, are very aggressive players.”
The varsity squad will travel to the Western Slope Invitational in Grand Junction March 13-15 to compete with 15 other teams.
“The Western Slope Invitational is always a great litmus test for us, giving us an opportunity to see what we need to improve on as we move towards the regional and state competitions.”
The lineup for 2014 is as follows:
No. 1 Singles: Sara Schoenbeck (Freshman)
No. 2 Singles: Sarah Megilligan (Sophomore)
No. 3 Singles: Caitie McCarthy (Sophomore)
No. 1 Doubles: Taylor Gaide (Senior) and Serena McCown (Sophomore)
No. 2 Doubles: Jaymie Masters (Senior) and Caroline Cavender (Sophomore)
No. 3 Doubles: Morgan Blackford (Freshman) and Annemarie Parker (Freshman)
No. 4 Doubles: Roslyn Quintana (Junior) and Kristen Bertoldo (Sophomore)