Vol. LXII, No. 44
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
(Photo by Bill Allen/NJ SportAction)caption:
COURT DATE: Hun School junior singles star Kara Shoemaker smacks a forehand in action earlier this fall. Last Wednesday, Shoemaker placed second in first singles in the state Prep A tournament for the second straight year. Shoemaker wasnt alone as Hun advanced to the finals in all five flights of the tournament. Powerful Lawrenceville, however, prevailed in each championship match, leaving Hun second in the team standings.
Last fall, first singles star Kara Shoemaker was the only player on the Hun School girls tennis team to advance to the championship round of the state Prep A tournament.
As the Raiders took the court earlier this month at Lawrenceville for this years Prep A tourney, Shoemaker was looking to again advance to the final round but this time with a little company.
Kara wanted somebody else to go with her on Wednesday, said Hun head coach Joan Nuse with a laugh. The girls were really psyched to go out and do well.
Shoemaker wasted no time in punching her return ticket to the finals, losing only a few games in breezing to straight-set victories in the first round and the semifinals.
Kara had a great day; she played really well, said Nuse of her junior standout.
Parents of players from the other teams were coming up to me and saying what a good player she is. She was also super supportive of her teammates after she was finished.
Those teammates ensured that Shoemaker didnt have to fly solo in the finals as Hun advanced to the championship round in the other four flights of the competition.
Like Shoemaker, second singles player Beatrice Falk and third singles star Natalia Arenales posted straight-set wins in making their way to the finals.
The first doubles team of Ali Deitchman and Maura Giordano and the second doubles pair of Mary Chiarello and Rachel Greene followed suit, producing straight-set victories in their path to the finals.
Nuse acknowledged that newcomers Falk, a native of Sweden, and Arenales, a Spanish national, didnt quite realize the significance of the Prep A competition at first.
We had such a busy week with four matches and states; I hadnt really explained to them what was going on, said Nuse.
Natalia was down 2-1 in the first set of the semis and I told her that if you win this match, you will get a medal. She seemed to play better after that.
Unfortunately, Hun ran into the better team in the Prep A championship round last Wednesday as they fell to players from powerful Lawrenceville in all five flights.
They wanted to do well; they went in thinking they had a shot, said Nuse in reflecting on the final day of the tournament which saw the Big Red post five straight-set wins.
Of course I wished we had won but the matches were closer than the scores indicated. There were a lot of deuce games.
Over most of the fall, Hun has generally come out on top in the deuce games, piling up a 9-3 record in dual-match play.
Im really happy with this season, asserted Nuse, whose team wraps up the season by playing at Notre Dame on October 29 before hosting Hill on October 31.
Last year, we had a losing record and we have already clinched a winning record. I am happy they have been playing well; they havent had to pick each other up that much but they are really supportive. The match against Stuart [a 5-0 win on October 15] was one of the better matches I have seen us play this year. The girls hung in there.
Nuse is looking for her players to keep hanging in there as they finish up the season.
We have Notre Dame; we havent played them in a couple of years so its nice to play them again, said Nuse.
We lost to Hill last year so wed like to beat them this time. I know they have a really good player at first singles.
No matter what happens this week, the fact that Shoemaker had plenty of company in the Prep A finals bodes well for the future.
We have had good luck with weather and health, said Nuse. It will be sad to see Maura and Mary go but its good that we have five players coming back.
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