Girls tennis: Shelton Gaelettes led by seven seniors
Shelton High is striving to win some of the close matches that escaped the Gaelettes last spring.
If the Gaelettes can accomplish this, they stand likely to achieve their goal of qualifying for the state tournament as a team.
Last year, the Gaels went 7-9 and just missed the state tournament.
Coach Michelle Sedlock, who started the program 19 years ago, is optimistic her squad has what it takes to get over the hump this spring.
“I feel they have more confidence in their game, and we can win these close matches against our rivals,” she said. “It’s going to take for the girls to play to their potential and be really focused and prepared, to be in the match and finish it.”
The Gaelettes have seven seniors, led by captains Zoe Rogers, who will start the season in the top doubles spot, and Nardin Sayoufi at fourth singles.
Classmates Eunice Kim (first doubles), Megan Pineaw and Mary Dib (second doubles), Nikki Oliver (second singles) and Mariah Mandulack (third singles).
Rogers and Kim qualified for the individual state tourney last year, and Sedlock hopes the Gaelettes have some more individual accomplishments including postseason and with All-SCC accolades.
“We have some nice experience coming back,” Sedlock said.
Some of this experience includes sophomore and top singles player Nell Komorwoski.
“Nell has the potential to have a really nice year for herself,” Sedlock said.
The third doubles team comprises sophomore Jesika Jayakar and freshman Emily Carlin.
Audrey Patrick is a junior transfer whom Sedlock anticipates breaking into the starting lineup midseason.
Cheryl Dziubina joins the program as a volunteer assistant coach.
Shelton competes in Division II of the Southern Connecticut Conference. Top teams in D-II include Branford and Milford schools Foran and Jonathan Law.
Crossover matches with D-I SCC schools Amity, Lauralton Hall, Guilford, Hand of Madison stand to provide tough tests.
Sedlock takes pride in the fact some of the school’s top students were on the tennis team last year, and the program traditionally has some of the top students.
“They’re great kids,” she said. "I’m absolutely loving that the season is here. We have so much fun and it’s so rewarding.”