Tennis primed for big season

John Longton

Sports Editor

The Hudson Valley Tennis team has started the season 4-1 and are ranked 8th in the nation. With a little over half of the regular season in the books, this tennis team is looking similar to other successful teams from years past.

Denise Potenza has coached the women’s tennis team here at Hudson Valley since 2011. Since then they won the conference championship in back to back years in 2012 and 2013 and are looking to do it all again.

Talking about the similarities between this team and her conference championship teams, coach Potenza said, “I think there’s a lot of dedication at practices. Players are really committed at coming to practices and working hard at practices.” This team works on every aspect of their game at Potenza’s practices as a group or she will work with a player individually.

“[It’s a] real good group of players this year that focuses on playing tennis and I believe they’re good friends outside of tennis too,” said Potenza, referring to the overall team chemistry. Even though half of the matches are singles, this group of girls work hard as a team to pick each other up and help each other out.

“We all get along so well and it’s very enjoyable,” said returning player Danielle Bahunin, from Waterford. Bahunin plays in the #1 spot for the team and last year was all-conference. She was also named the MVP of the team in 2014 and is providing this year’s team with veteran leadership.

“This year we all have equal ability,” said Bahunin. The success of this year’s team versus last year’s team is that they have more depth. “Towards the end of the lineup we have really strong players,” she said.

The team won their last match this past Thursday 8-1 when they hosted Herkimer. They won in dominant fashion in the singles matches. The ladies dropped five sets as a team compared to the 48 they won. This team really looks like it’s finding its groove just as they look to gear up for regionals.

“I want to make it to nationals in the worst way,” said second year player Anna Gerwin, from Valley Falls. “Last year I was nervous because it was my first year playing for a college team. This year I think I’m persevering more.”

The ladies have another home match this Wednesday (Sep 30) at 4 p.m. when they host Adirondack. After that they have two more matches remaining before the regional tournament begins. If you get a chance, you might want to make it to one of the remaining matches and you might get a glimpse at some history in the making.

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