CEDAR GROVE, NJ - In her first season as Head Coach of the Cedar Grove girls tennis team Kirsten Mattesky is hoping to change the culture and bring tennis to the forefront of the Panther sports world.
“I’m definitely looking to build the program and make a winning atmosphere for the girls. I want tennis to be seen as an equal sport to others. I feel like sometimes tennis is kind of forgotten a bit so I want to bring it back and get people talking about the tennis team,” said Mattesky.
Despite having just two wins a season ago, Mattesky feels the team can still compete at the highest level.
“I know last year they only had two wins so I’m looking to improve the record and with our talent I’m looking to contend for the Conference Championship,” said Mattesky.
In the first singles spot for the Panthers will be Sofia LaForgia. The sophomore returns after a solid freshman campaign at the top singles position.
“[LaForgia] plays all year round. She’s shown improvement, she’s definitely consistent on the court and she’s like a human backboard she gets everything back,” said Mattesky.
Senior Panagiota Perdikis will occupy second singles for Cedar Grove. Perdikis will play in the second singles spot for the second consecutive season. The senior has led by example in the program over the last several seasons and will look to continue to leave a positive legacy on the program as a whole.
“[Perdikis] is ready to take on any match. She’s a strong hitter and she’s consistent,” said Mattesky.
In the third and final singles spot sophomore Christa Fox will factor into the teams plans. Fox will look to help the squad gain a key advantage at a crucial position in match play. For Fox this is a big jump into singles action after playing as a doubles player last season.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how [Fox] does there…she teaches tennis in the summer so I think being around tennis really improves her game,” said Mattesky.
The first doubles unit for the Panthers will be comprised of a pair of seniors who have proven themselves at the spot. Chloe Perez and Lauren Cap will hold down the squad for Cedar Grove as leaders for the program similar to Perdikis. The duo will be a tandem for the second consecutive year.
“[Perez and Cap] are definitely great players, definitely good for the team,” said Mattesky.
Rounding out the anticipated starting squad will be Gina Grimes and Farva Raza. A senior and junior respectively have battled their way through the preseason to get into tiptop form for opening day.
The Panthers are currently competing in preseason match play as they prepare for opening day. The squad will open their season on September 4 against Hssbrouck Heights.
TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.