YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Yorktown tennis finished their regular season last week with a 10-6 record.
Coach Roger Dayer said his team experienced tremendous turnover from last year, having graduated seven senior players.
“It was a very new team and it took a while to jell,” Dayer said. “Overall, I’m happy with our performance.”
Senior co-captains Jayden Carrillo and Jessica Andersen were tasked with leading the young team, which at times was a challenge.
“There was a lot of arguing” at first, said Andersen, who found it difficult to give instruction to younger players, including a few eighth graders.
But “unofficial” practices on the weekend helped with team chemistry.
“We all kind of got to bond with each other and get to know each other a little more because [the practices] were less serious,” Andersen said. “So, I think that really helped the team. As we got to know each other more, I feel like we started to play better together. Because when you’re playing with someone who you’re not familiar with, it’s hard to communicate with them.”
Yorktown also struggled against top-tier teams like Eastchester, who defeated the Huskers on Sept. 10, which only pushed Yorktown to work harder, Carrillo said.
“The team started out slow as we were all just getting to know each other and warm up to each other, but I am proud to say that we have really all improved together and have been performing the best we possibly can,” Carrillo said.
Carrillo said many players helped the Huskers achieve a winning record this season, including Emilia Palumbo and Angelique Carrillo (her younger sister). She also praised the performance of doubles teams Lauren Kitts/Giovanna Phipps and Scarlett Segal/Izzy McCoy, eighth graders.
For the uninitiated, Yorktown plays 3/4 tennis (lower enrollment schools play 3/2). Every regular season contest involves seven matches between three individual players and four doubles teams from each school.
The key to victory, of course, is winning at least four of those matches.
Tennis postseason is unlike a traditional team sport. Though there is a section tournament played under the 3/4 format (won this year by Scarsdale), that is an undercard of sorts to the doubles and singles tournaments that follow.
Conference tournament play began on Tuesday, Oct. 15. Players and teams who advance through the conference tournament will play in the section tournament, which begins Tuesday, Oct. 22.
The Huskers did not have any players compete in the singles tournament. Dayer instead chose to focus on building the strongest doubles teams, two of which earned spots in the conference tournament.
The first team is the sophomore duo of Palumbo and Angelique Carrillo, which went undefeated in the regular season. They won their opening-round match on Tuesday.
For the second team, Dayer paired up his top singles players: Jayden Carrillo and junior Rebecca Gerdis, who had a first-round bye in the conference tournament.