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Senior-laden Knights waiting on the weather

by Joshua Spaulding
Sports Editor - Granite State News, Carroll County Independent, Meredith News, Gilford Steamer, Winnisquam Echo, Plymouth Record-Enterprise and Baysider

CHRISTINE CHRYSAFIDIS is one of the seniors on a senior-laden Kingswood girls' tennis team. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
April 07, 2014
WOLFEBORO — Even though the snow has presented a major challenge, the Kingswood girls' tennis team has been getting ready for the new season.

After continuing to improve last season, finishing with a 9-5 record in Division III, the Knights return a solid veteran team for longtime coach Tom Merrell, who points out that the top six in the ladder are all returning seniors.

"I am very excited about the team this year," Merrell said. "The team is stronger than last year's team."

The ladder will feature plenty of veteran experience leading the way.

Kim Phu will be the team captain this spring and will return for her senior year and start the season as the number one player in the lineup.

Fellow senior Christine Chrysafidis will begin the season as the number two player on the ladder, followed by senior Taylor Durand and senior Julia St. Germain, both of whom have been part of the team for a few years.

Senior Julia Miller will move into the fifth spot in the lineup after a successful first campaign last year and classmate Gabby Niconchuk, who saw some time on the court for the Knights last year, will be the sixth player on the ladder to open the season.

Junior Hillary Eldridge will open the year in the seventh spot in the order and she will be joined by three of her classmates. Returning junior Patty Boutin will start in the 11th spot and Kelsey Cullison will be in the 12th spot. Sarah Booth will be in the 14th spot and will also serve as the team manager.

Sophomore Katie Marzerka also returns to the team and will start the season in the eighth slot, while classmate Siobhan Shamlian will begin as the ninth player in the lineup.

The team will also feature two freshmen, as Ali Caulkins steps in as the 10th player in the lineup and Maddie Winn will be the 13th player in the lineup.

Merrell held tryouts for the team in the Smith Center on the campus of Brewster Academy and the team has had practices at both Gilford Hills and Cranmore Mountain Resort, where indoor courts are available.

"And we will be shoveling the courts," Merrell said, noting his team went out on Tuesday and worked on the courts at Foss Field, where the team will play its home matches.

The schedule includes a doubleheader with Plymouth, as well as two matches each against Kennett and Berlin and singular matches against White Mountains, Littleton, Inter-Lakes, Moultonborough, Prospect Mountain, Gilford, Laconia and Profile.

The Knights were scheduled to open the season on Monday, April 7, but Mother Nature has been doing her best to foil any plans for the season. That game, slated against White Mountains Regional, has been postponed, with a makeup date to be determined.

The Knights were also scheduled to compete after deadline Wednesday at Berlin. On Friday, April 11, they are slated to be at Littleton at 4 p.m.

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 569-3126 or sportsgsn@salmonpress.com

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