Ask girls’ tennis Coach Glenn Pina how many years this will be coaching tennis at DHS and he emphatically says this is his final one.

With retirement coming in June, the Duxbury coach hopes he can go out in a blaze of glory after suffering a disappointing season in 2007.

The girls finished last year at 9-10, just missing the play-offs by one win. Needing just a victory in their final three games, the Lady Dragons dropped all three contests by identical 3-2 scores, with the deciding game being three-set losses in each match.

Ask girls’ tennis Coach Glenn Pina how many years this will be coaching tennis at DHS and he emphatically says this is his final one.

With retirement coming in June, the Duxbury coach hopes he can go out in a blaze of glory after suffering a disappointing season in 2007.

The girls finished last year at 9-10, just missing the play-offs by one win. Needing just a victory in their final three games, the Lady Dragons dropped all three contests by identical 3-2 scores, with the deciding game being three-set losses in each match.{sidebar id=4}

Returning all three singles starters is surely a plus, but finding an experienced group of doubles players is where Duxbury’s problems could lie.

As of Sunday night Pina had yet to learn who had won the weekend challenge match between senior captains Emily Averna and Becca Winans to represent the Lady Dragons at #1 where Winans had hold in 2007.{sidebar id=1}

Averna has shown she is a very determined player during her Duxbury career, and is hard to get off the court. She hits the ball hard and goes all out until the very last point.

Winans tackled some of the top players on the South Shore last year at #1 and took her lumps, but it was a definite learning experience for the senior, who now understands that playing hard every match is critical in the top spot. Pina likes Winans ability to come to the net and attack with volleys.

 

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Becca Winans and Emily Averna
Senior Jill Dubuisson has a hold on the #3 slot, but could get some competition down the road from sophomore Julia Allen, and freshmen Michaela Dowd and Casey Reinhart.

 

“Jill is the classic backboard player,” says Pina. “She’ll sit back there and just hit the ball back and wait for her opponent to make a mis-take.”

The three potential contenders for Dubuisson’s spot have all shown the ability to play singles at some point in the season, but Pina feels all of them need more competition against different styles of play in order to be consistent winners in such a key spot in the lineup.

Senior Jackie Ennis is Pina’s lone veteran in doubles, with five underclassmen vying for the three remaining spots.

“In all the matches we’ve had to determine the last three spots, everyone comes out at 2-2,” said Pina. “I’m hoping we get some weather this week so we can determine who wins the spots. No matter who does, I won’t have a problem running any of them out there.”

Included in that group are juniors Liza Thomas, Jane Morgan, Annie Gluskin, and sophomores Cory Tucker and Erin Nelson.

Whoever pairs with Ennis needs to be on her toes, as the senior is a strong doubles player who goes to the net often and forces the play.

“Thomas is a strong and consistent player,” says Pina. The junior missed half of last season due to mono, but the Duxbury coach has seen no ill effects from last year’s absence.

Pina thinks the left-handed Gluskin has all the ability to be a winner in doubles, if she can harness her talents. “She is an aggressive player who gets to a lot of balls and can really hit it, but she needs to keep her game under control in order for it to be effective.”

Tucker and Nelson are very talented players says Pina, as both have a game that includes getting to the net and volleying, while Morgan is a very strong hitter who lacks serious doubles competition like many of her teammates.

“It’s very hard to say how we will do,” said Pina. “Scituate and Hingham will be tough as usual, but we have the talent to be competitive. One of our main problems will be that a lot of our doubles players needed to get experience playing doubles before they got to the varsity level. It takes time to gel with your doubles partner and learn the strategy of the game.”

The girls hope they can get Pina’s final season started on an upbeat note when they take on an always-tough Cohasset squad in Cohasset on Wednesday afternoon at 3:30.

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