by Tom Utescher
Coach Lora Ball has launched into her second season at the helm of the varsity girls’ tennis program at Germantown Academy. Ball, who is also an administrator at the Magarity Tennis Club in Flourtown, is being assisted at GA this fall by Laura Gergen.
During the boys’ tennis season in the spring, both women work with the team at Upper Dublin High School, where Ball is the varsity head coach and Gergen is the JV coach.
Last year’s GA tri-captains, Amanda Amorosi, Sydney Caplan, and Tesa Pribitkin, have graduated, and the new senior trio in charge consists of Mikayla Fassler, Kristin Haugen, and Talia Scicchitano.
Two underclassmen who were on the varsity roster last year are not out for the tennis team this fall, but the Patriots return their top singles player and also have had an infusion of fresh talent.
Back at first singles is junior Renee Repella, who recently attained a number one ranking in the USTA Philadelphia Under-16’s, according to Coach Ball.
Taking over the second spot this fall is Emma Menkowitz. She’s a sophomore transfer from the Shipley School, the three-time runner-up team in the Friends Schools League. Tiffany Zhong, just a freshman, has earned the third singles spot on the GA squad.
One of the tri-captains, Scicchitano, is forming the first doubles team along with Rachel Kliger, a junior who rowed in the same boat as Fassler for the GA crew last spring.
This fall, Fassler and Haugen are performing at second doubles. Coach Ball noted last week that there still may be some changes in the alignment of the Patriots’ third and fourth doubles flights. The chief candidates here are seniors Kate Powers and Sofie Rasmussen, sophomore Chiare Boye, and freshman Alice Su.
In the event that another player needs to be brought up to varsity, junior Sophie Kallenbach and sophomore Julia Ostrovsk are standing by.
Germantown achieved a 1-1 split in its first two matches, which were both non-league bouts. Following the three-singles, two doubles format employed by the Friends League, the Patriots blanked Menkowitz’s old team, Shipley, 5-0. They were then edged by North Penn High School, 4-3.
GA did well in non-league bouts last season and opened the Inter-Ac with a win over Springside Chestnut Hill. The Pats didn’t experience much success in the league after that, though, a result they’re hoping to improve upon in 2016.