2013 Tennis Preview: Net Gains

After reaching the semifinals of the Section II Class A Tournament last season, the Gloversville tennis team hopes to continue its success this season.

“Last year was one of the school’s best years, and we would like to repeat that performance,” Gloversville coach Michael Bruce said.

Gloversville went 8-4 overall last season and finished second in the Foothills Council with a 7-3 league record. Gloversville lost to top-seeded Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, 6-1, in the sectional semifinals.

The Huskies lost their top two singles players, Nate Ligon and Andrew Beckham, to graduation. Gloversville also lost Matt Blanchard to graduation. Ligon and Beckham teamed up to win the Foothills Council doubles title last season.

The Huskies returned nine players from last season’s roster.

Included in that group are seniors Kyle Gargulio, Jordan Coughlin, Mike Marotta and Mike Priolo.

Also back are junior Josh Daly, junior Sheldon Billa, sophomore Sarah Lebel, sophomore Jessica Clet and freshman Scotty Bruce.

“We’re fortunate that we have some experienced players returning to the team,” Bruce said.

Rounding out the roster are five newcomers.

That group includes senior Andrew McManus, junior Austin Alikhan, junior Marko Markovic, sophomore Megan Morell and eighth-grader Nicholas Bruce.

“The kids are working hard in their preseason practices,” Bruce said. “Like every year, we just hope to be competitive.”

Gloversville is scheduled to open the season April 8 at home with a Foothills Council against Queensbury.

“We’re a very proud sports program for this school district and I hope people will come and support us this year at the matches,” Bruce said. “I think it will be a lot of fun for people to watch.”

Last season, Amsterdam went 4-8 overall and 2-8 in Big 10 play, and both are numbers the Rams hope to improve upon.

“Even though we lost eight matches, most of the players lost in three sets,” Amsterdam coach Rick Von Ehr said. “We did not get overwhelmed.”

Amsterdam returns plenty of players from last year’s team, including senior captain Ben Patrick.

Patrick is one of 10 seniors on the Rams’ roster.

Other seniors include Lukas Brower, Kyle Farina, Sean Farrell, Dan Hughes, Cody Ludwin, Kevin Melville, Pat Purtell, Harpreet Singh and Mike Tabasco.

Rounding out the Amsterdam roster will be junior Darren Atkinson, junior Andrew DiSalvi, junior Zach Farina and sophomore Corey Tambasco.

The slow starting spring has done Amsterdam few favors so far this season as snow has prevented the team from taking to the court.

“Snow on the courts has led to us starting later,” Von Ehr said. “So has every other team.”

The Rams were slated to open their season Tuesday at home with a non-league match against Middleburgh. Instead, snow on the courts pushed the match to April 25.

Amsterdam is now scheduled to open its season April 8 with a Big 10 match at Christian Brothers Academy. After starting the season with five straight road matches, the Rams aren’t scheduled to play their first home match until April 19 when they host Troy. It will be the first of six straight home contests for Amsterdam.

“It will be an interesting season,” Von Ehr said.

For the second straight year, Johnstown will not field a boys varsity tennis team this season.