by Tom Utescher
The necessity of finding a new number one singles player and a number one doubles team would have a serious impact on most high school tennis squads, but Penn Charter has appeared to recover quite nicely after losing athletes at those positions as well as two other doubles players from its 2014 roster.
Two new arrivals on School House Lane have refurbished the singles line-up for the Quakers; as the season gets underway freshman Brinlea LaBarge is playing first singles and her 11th-grade sister, Schuyler, is in the number two spot. This has allowed PC to return junior Natalie Williams as a strong number three singles player.
Team captain Paige Hodges is one of just two seniors on the Charter varsity. Last Thursday she joined junior Hunter Smith at first doubles as PC swept visiting Shipley School, the 2014 Friends Schools League runner-up. The other senior, Sam Zipin, was penciled in to play at fourth doubles along with sophomore Lizzie Drebin, but the Gators was not able to field a fourth singles duo (their league official plays a three singles/two doubles format, while PC and its Inter-Ac colleagues add two more doubles flights).
For Thursday’s match, Charter was missing freshman Lela Soy, who already saw some action at varsity singles as an eighth-grader last fall.
Juniors Jenny Reisman and Olivia Bagar played second doubles for PC in the Shipley match, while sophomores Chloe Masters and Meredith Bernstein were stationed at third doubles.
Rose Weinstein is going into her 12th season as head coach of the Quakers. Certified Sports Life Coach Amy Haller, who worked with the team for several seasons earlier in Weinstein’s tenure, is back with the Quakers this fall.
NOTE: Regarding the new arrivals on the Penn Charter team, the September 3 edition of the LOCAL incorrectly referred to an Inter-Ac League eligibility regulation which is now-outdated. Until fairly recently, a student who had played on a varsity sports team any public or private school and transferred to an Inter-Ac school was not allowed to play in league games for his or her first season at the new institution. Now, this rule applies only to intra-league transfers; those entering an Inter-Ac league school from any non-league school may engage in league competition immediately.