WEST ORANGE, NJ – The West Orange High School girls’ tennis team has been working hard with new Head Coach Jeff Mazurek and Assistant Coach Mike Marini to serve up a winning season.
Mazurek is a lifelong resident of West Orange, who graduated from WOHS in 2005, where he was a wrestler. He is a physical education and health teacher at Roosevelt Middle School and an assistant WOHS wrestling coach. He said he grew up playing tennis with his grandparents and enjoys the sport tremendously.
Marini is a special needs teacher at WOHS and coaches tennis and girls’ softball. He has also coached girls’ basketball. In addition, he is a certified fitness instructor, which is a skill that he and Mazurek put to use at the start of the season.
“The girls are already three times better than when we began practicing,” said Mazurek. “They’ve been awesome and have really embraced the challenge.”
“The girls spent the first 19 days of practice doing hard training,” stated Marini. “They are achieving a high level of fitness, working on conditioning, speed, agility, coordination and confidence.”
The team is positioned to improve on last year’s, 11-11, record with 12 seniors returning this season.
“The girls have a lot of experience and a great attitude,” said Mazurek. “They’ve really gelled as a team.”
Both Mazurek and Marini said they expect solid performances from senior Team Captain Dasha Temniy, senior Vidya Kanthan and sophomore Sienna Pizzano. Seniors and doubles team members Adrienne Saldana and Amy Tang also said they expect to see several wins.
“We always want to see the girls become better athletes and tennis players,” said Marini, “and we want them to compete and be competitive. But we also tell them—play to win.”
The hard work paid off—as the girls took a, 5-0, win over Belleville on Sept. 9, led by Temniy, Funmi Oshodi, and Sydney Taylor. They play Glen Ridge beginning at 4:00 p.m. at West Orange on Sept. 17.