BERNARDSVILLE, NJ -- The Bernards girls tennis team has youth at the top of its lineup, veteran experience through the rest of its roster and designs on a sectional championship in 2019.
A year after posting a 16-4 record that culminated in a loss to Summit in the Section 2, Group 2 final last season, the Mountaineers have the talent in place to make a run at that missing piece of hardware this fall.
It starts with a sophomore. Although Rebecka Wolpert is only a 10th-grader, she has already served as the team's No. 1 singles player, and she will be back in that role again this season. Wolpert was accorded second-team all-division honors as a freshman in the Skyland Conference a year ago.
Another sophomore, Ashley Levine, holds down the second singles spot this season. Levine was played at third singles a year ago, and coach Dyana Tarulli believes Levine is ready for the challenge of the No. 2 spot this season.
Senior Lauren Sugarmann is penciled in as Bernards' third singles player. And the doubles positions will be dominated by upperclass performers, as well. Mira Patla, Natalie Bachrach and Jillian Comstock--all 12th-graders--will rotate at three of the four doubles spots with Riley DeMarrais, another senior, and Neha Saravanan, a junior.
"Our strength this year is experience," Tarulli said. "Each player has at least a year of high school match experience on varsity or at the top of JV, and the majority of our players compete year-round."
The tennis program has compiled a 49-27 record under Tarulli, and there's sufficient reason to believe that percentage will be bettered this season.
"We should be strong in our Skyland division again," Tarulli said. "Our goal continues to be to win the state sectional title."
Bernards opens its regular season with a match at White Oak Park in Branchburg Tuesday, Sept. 3 against Somerville.