Lose a tennis player like Diana King to graduation, and you lose a lot.
By Mitch Silver
Lose a tennis player like Diana King to graduation, and you lose a lot. A multi-year varsity starter at singles and a playoff doubles performer with different partners, King was the backbone of Coach Mark Canno’s team for lo, these many years. Can they still win without her?
Based on their first match of the season, a 7-0 drubbing of Pleasantville, the answer is emphatically yes. Returning first singles player Clemence Balzano spent the summer tuning up her game in her native France, before opening with an easy win. Winners as well at second and third singles were Alana Proudian and Co-Captain Julia Wright.
Sisters Mizuki and Nagisa Shionoya took their first doubles match, Co-Captain Carly Merrill and Olivia Wice breezed at second doubles, Lindsey Sexton and Beatrix Cress came back from 3-0 down to win their third doubles matchup, and Nicole Pereira and Delaney Park won their first varsity match ever at fourth doubles.
Their coach saw a lot to like in his team’s performance, but cautioned that they’ll face tougher foes in the days ahead. “Last year we finished 10-4 overall and 4-3 in our league. This year? We could go 13-1, or we could go 7-7. Teams like Edgemont and Bronxville are strong up and down their lineups, so we’re going to have to improve every match.”
That improvement will have to come awfully quickly: Rye Neck met Bronxville post-press time, and they travel to Edgemont this weekend.