Vol. LXIII, No. 14
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
(Photo by Bill Allen/NJ SportAction)
COURT SENSE: Princeton High boys tennis singles star Kevin Cen prepares to belt a forehand in action last spring. Cen, who has moved up to first singles this season from the No. 2 spot, posted a straight-set win last Thursday as PHS blanked Ewing 5-0 in its season opener. In upcoming action, the Little Tigers host Nottingham on April 8, play at Notre Dame on April 9, and then host Allentown on April 13.
Losing several key senior players to graduation from last years sectional championship squad, the Princeton High boys tennis team has a new look this spring.
We will do a lot of rebuilding, said PHS head coach Sarah Heyman, who guided the Little Tigers to an 18-2 record in 2008 and the first Central Jersey Group III championship of her tenure.
We lost five seniors and some of them were three or four-year starters. When you lose that many players with that much experience, it is going to leave a hole.
But while the Little Tiger lineup may look unfamiliar, Heyman believes similar results are possible.
We do have talent and potential, asserted Heyman. The guys need to step and live up to the programs winning tradition.
At first singles, Heyman has someone who has been part of that winning tradition in junior Kevin Cen, who is moving up to first singles after starring at No. 2 the past two springs.
Kevin has more power on his ground strokes, said Heyman, whose team got off to a strong start in 2009 by blanking Ewing 5-0 last Thursday without dropping a set.
He is definitely more powerful than he was as a freshman. He had a lot of good matches at No. 23 and he plays in tournaments on his own. He is definitely one of the stronger players in the area.
PHS is expecting some strong play from 64 junior Aaron Wishnick who is moving up from second doubles.
I think one of the biggest things he brings to the table is power, asserted Heyman.
He has a tremendous serve and his game is growing into his size. He needs to develop consistency to go with his power. If he can harness his power, he could be deadly. He has all the elements to be a very good singles player; hopefully he will bring his whole game up to the varsity level.
Third singles player Alex Sussman is a newcomer to the varsity level but Heyman thinks the senior will fit in well.
Alex has a good all around singles game, said Heyman. He has just been outside our singles lineup the last two years and he has worked hard. Its his time, I feel.
Heyman is confident that her first doubles team of junior David Zheng and sophomore Jesse Chai will give opponents a hard time this spring.
David was one of our top doubles players last year, said Heyman. He has a good serve and volley game; he is a very good doubles player. Jesse is a strong player; they seem to have meshed.
At second doubles, Heyman is going with a pair of seniors, Aidan Milner and Holden Warriner, who she hopes will mesh into a formidable pair as well.
In Heymans view, her players need to follow a basic blueprint to continue the programs winning tradition.
Everyone has to give their all and settle into their roles, said Heyman, whose team hosts Nottingham on April 8, plays at Notre Dame on April 9, and then hosts Allentown on April 13.
They need to realize what they can do for themselves and the team to improve areas of weakness.
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