It’s nice to start with No. 1 — especially when it comes to high school tennis.
The 2013 boys tennis season is ready to begin with Tim Hunt of Mars and Jonathan Perkins of Seneca Valley returning as their respective teams’ No. 1 singles player.
Hunt was the Planets’ top singles player as a freshman in 2012.
“We finished last in the section a year ago, but our top three singles players are sophomores and we’ve got some quality freshmen joining the program this year,” said Planets’ coach Chris Knauff. “I’m expecting a pretty significant turnaround this spring.”
Perkins, a junior, enters his third year as the Raiders’ No. 1 singles player. He was 11-3 last season. Seneca Valley was 9-7 overall, missing the WPIAL team playoffs by one match.
Following are preview capsules for the Mars and Seneca Valley boys tennis teams.
Coach: Chris Knauff, first year
Key Personnel Losses: No. 1 doubles Zach Hudac and Ryan Gralish
Singles: Sophomores Tim Hunt at No. 1, Noah Hudac at No. 2 and Nick Ollio at No. 3 are solid. Freshmen Josh Raymundo and Aaron Gruber may join the mix.
Doubles: Noah Hudac and freshman Alex Gruber will likely be at No. 1. Seniors Chad Friday and Connor Blakeney may be at No. 2.
Knauff says: “We will be young, but there’s plenty of talent. Four of my top six players may be freshmen, which could jumble the lineup quite a bit. Our goal is to get to the playoffs. We’ve missed for a couple of years.”
Coach: Eric Grove, 13th year
Key Personnel Losses: No. 2 singles Troy Abbott, No. 2 doubles Matt Hochberg
Singles: Junior Jonathan Perkins return at No. 1, seniors Joe Shults and Mayank Parashar at No. 2, sophomore Alex Park at No. 3.
Doubles: Combination of Shults, Parashar and Park will be at No. 1, along with sophomore Patrick O’Connor. Sophomores Michael Garczynski and Eric Abbott are at No. 2.
Grove says: “Our goal is always to win more than we lose. With Hampton joining our section this year and North Allegheny always among the top two teams, we will be in a real fight to get one of the three playoff positions in our league.”