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High School Tennis:
Lady Rams Defeats Sister School In Girl's Tennis

Friday, October 5, 2001

By Alex Weeks
SJSports Staff Writer

On a beautiful fall day at Overbrook Senior High, with a Junior Varsity football game being played in the background, the elegant sport of tennis was on display. Sister schools squared off when the Overbrook Lady Rams took on the Winslow Lady Eagles. Winslow's coach John Tutoro, who spent 15 year as an assistant to Overbrook coach Jeff Mack (when Winslow was known as Edgewood), was unsuccessful in his first bid at beating his former head coach getting swept 5 matches to 0. Tutoro stated that his team missing first string player Alexis Switenko and the teams limited varsity experience hurt his teams chance at victory. Coach Mack who is in his first year at Overbrook, stated it was hard thing for him to coaching against his former team after having coached many of the girls on the Winslow team.

In the first singles match Overbrook's Annelle Saberon took on Winslow's Jarie Helverson. Saberon used a powerful first serve and a penetrating forehand to take the first set easily at 6-1. At one point during the first set, Saberon struck a serve so hard that it hit Helverson. Helverson sportingly complained about the pain, and then hit the ball back with a smile. The second set was more competitive as Helverson used her speed and consistency to run down the powerful shots of Saberon forcing her into mistakes. In the end however Lady Ram Saberon had too many weapons for Lady Eagle Helverson to handle and won the set 6-4. After the match Saberson said she felt good and was very relaxed and was impressed with her opponent's ability to hit the ball deep in the court.

The second singles match pitted Overbrook's Ankita Adhia against Winslow's Colleen Dougherty. Some of the longest rallies of the day were seen in this match. Dougherty was unable to back up her surprising upset win over Cherry Hill West. In the first set the lefty Adhia was too fast and consistent for Dougherty, winning 6-1. This match was also much more competitive in the second set confirming coach Tutoro's feeling that his team will improve with experience. Dougherty fought through the pain in her sore right arm and used a blistering backhand to keep the second set close but still fell to Adhia in the second 6-4.

The third singles match featured Overbrook's Co-Captain Tracy Scardino verses Winslow's Sarah Augustino. This match was the closest of the day lasting at almost an hour after all of the other matches were complete. Two of the most impressive shots of the day were seen in this match. Scardino struck one of the most powerful overheads of the day. Augustino, who normally plays doubles for the team, hit the prettiest volley of the day. She hit the shot after following her coaches advice to charge the net on deep ground strokes. In the end Lady Ram Tracy Scardino used her strong serve and solid ground strokes to hold on for the win 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.

In first doubles Overbrook's Katie Szmidt and Christine DiRenzo took on Winslow's Jackie Zvanya and Kate Elling. In a match that was closer than the final score would indicate, the more experienced Lady Ram team won the match 7-6(7-3), 6-4.

In the second doubles Overbrook's Shena Faith and Nicole Ernst easily beat Winslow's Ashley Lind and Lauren Krason (who just moved up from JV due to Switenko's inability to play) 6-0, 6-1. The Overbrook's doubles team has been playing together for 3 years. After the match co-captain Shena Faith stated her friendship of 12 years to teammate Nicole helped in there win. Both players credited their coaches in their recent success saying that assistant coach Doug Stewart was particularly inspirational and encouraging.

Photos by Art Redd

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