Salem Community Patriot
April 16, 2010 - 7
Young Girls’ Tennis Squad Expects to Make Impact this Spring
by Chris White
Despite losing several key players to
graduation, the Salem girls’ tennis team still anticipates another successful season in 2010. Last year, the squad achieved a solid 10-4 record and the sixth seed in the state tournament. It upset third-seeded Exeter in the quarterfinals before losing to Concord by one set in the semifinals. Eight seniors from the 2009 Blue Devils
have graduated, to be exact. Five of them were regulars in the team’s top six. This season, with the exception of junior Danica Blakslee, there will be five new players in the ladder. Although Salem is collectively younger and less experienced compared to last season, head coach Curtis Killion said he believes his team has the potential to stand out in Class L. “This is a team that can make the
playoffs again,” he said. “We have five new players in the ladder this year who have never been regular ladder players before, but I’m looking forward to see how these new players do.”
Blakslee will step into the number-one slot and provide experience for the Devils in 2010. Killion said that he thinks she will not only be able to qualify for the singles tournament at the end of the season, but advance at least a few rounds into it. At number two, sophomore Cassie Hailson also has the potential to receive an invite to the tournament. After enjoying the experience of her freshman tennis season, Hailson worked hard to improve in the off- season and returned as a reliable force this spring.
Youth Offers Boys’ Tennis Team Potential to Grow
by Chris White
The Salem boys’ tennis team has enjoyed its share of success in Class L over the past couple of years. The team captured the Class L title in 2008 and then advanced to the quarterfinals last season. But after it graduated its entire top six from 2009, it will look for its returning players to step into new roles this spring.
As none of this year’s seniors cracked the top six in 2009, the Blue Devils are definitely an inexperienced group entering the new season. The team features a total of six seniors on its 20-member roster, and 11 players who are in either their freshman or sophomore years. Still, with the team’s youth comes the potential to grow. “There’s a lot of potential for everyone,” Salem coach Gary
Duranko stated. “This year, we’re going to have to come up with individual goals for everyone to become better players. They need to work hard in practice to develop into good talents.” Improvement will be crucial to the team’s success. The Devils are capable of returning to the playoffs, but it will require a good amount of effort to get there, Duranko noted. With that, the coach also said his players are eager to learn. Salem will be led by German exchange student Philipp
Sophomore Cassie Hailson is ready to help Salem as the team’s number two
Seniors Breanna Edelstein and Kina Wilbur-Kamien will start the season at number three and four on the ladder, respectively. They will be responsible for providing leadership to the team as co-captains and the only seniors in the program. Their time as regulars in the top six has been long awaited and much anticipated, and Killion said he hopes they will thrive now that they are finally given a consistent opportunity to be two of Salem’s top players. “They’ve always been just off the ladder [in previous seasons],” Killion explained. “They can finally relax because their positions are secure and hopefully their game will come alive.” Kelsey Perreault and Adriana Lonardo currently round out the top six for the Blue Devils. Perreault, a freshman, has been playing well in practice and will be a strong number five. Lonardo earned the number- six spot in an inter-squad tournament. She is a real competitor who will attack the net and chase after every single ball, Killion said.
Salem kicked off its season at Goffstown this past Wednesday. After hosting Londonderry the following day, the team’s next contest will be at Nashua North on Monday, April 19.
Becker, who will start the season in the number-one slot on the ladder. Becker will be a strong singles player who has the potential to reach the singles tournament at the end of the season. He will also give the Devils a good doubles player. He has already been an asset to the team experience-wise by helping some of his teammates develop fundamentally and strategically during the young season. Following Becker, there will be a number of players who are expected to be consistent members of the ladder this season. Chris Bacho, Ryan Breton, and Brad Morriseau are likely to be found in the two, three, or four spots most of the time. There are also players who will hover around the fifth and sixth spots as the season goes on. Tyler Denning, Jared Scali, Blais Arden, and Ryan Greenleaf will all be in the mix and provide depth to Salem’s ladder. Additionally, two different pairs of brothers will compete as doubles partners for Salem this spring. Tyler and Eric Denning will make up one of the teams, while Brad and Connor
Salem’s David San Antonio serves during practice last week
Morriseau will make up the other. Salem’s regular season opened against Goffstown at home
last Wednesday before it traveled to Londonderry the day after. Its next match will be on Monday, April 19, at Michele Park against Nashua North.
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Salem junior Danica Blakslee will step into the Devils’ number one spot this season
Gym-Ken Gymnastics Roundup
submitted by Gym-Ken Parent Support Group
Taylor Powell of Gym-Ken Gymnastics in Windham competed on March 20 at the NH Level 9 State Championships. She placed fourth on vault, 8.9; fourth on bars, 8.2; second on balance beam, 8.9; fifth on floor, 8.85; and third in the all-around, 34.85. Taylor qualified to represent New Hampshire at the USAG Regional Championships in Danvers, MA, on the weekend of April 9, vying for a spot to compete at USAG Eastern Nationals, to be held in Charleston, WV. This competition will take place April 29. We wish her the best of luck! Marrina Mayo of Salem represented Gym-Ken and
Coach Kara Lemay proudly. After dealing with a season of injuries, Marrina put forth her best effort, just falling short of the qualifying score. This was Marrina’s best showing of the season. Marrina placed fourth on the balance beam. Level 8s competed in their last Sectional Qualifier
before tackling their State Championships in Stratham. All of the girls qualified to the State Meet back in December with the exception of Sarah Hale of Salem. She recently advanced to Level 8, leaving her this one opportunity to advance. She rose to the occasion and had her best outcome of the season. Sarah placed fourth on bars, 8.4; third on balance beam, 8.6; and fourth in all-around, 33.75. Sarah Vignos of Windham won the all- around in the Children’s age group with her season high score of 35.45. She also placed first on vault, 8.9; second on bars, 8.9; second on balance beam, 8.5; and first on floor, 9.15. Kadianne Tommasi of Salem took second in all-around, 35.15; third on vault, 8.975; third on bars, 8.9; second on balance beam, 8.9; and fourth on floor, 8.75.
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