PLYMOUTH – The tennis ball started bouncing right for the Plymouth North girls tennis program at the end of the shortened 2021 spring season. That momentum at the end of the schedule led to extra work in the off-season, which showed up huge for the Blue Eagles this season on the way to a 16-6 record and a third-place finish in the Patriot League’s Keenan Division Hingham and Duxbury High.
“Tennis is inherently an individual sport, but I think the tight bonds on this team helped us be successful this season. That kind of positivity of everyone involved was a big part of our success this season,” said Blue Eagles Head Coach Carl Nielsen. “We had 18 players on the varsity team this season, and the great thing was I was able to get in many of the players into matches at one time or another. We ended up handing out 13 varsity letters at the banquet.”
Nielsen will only lose two seniors, depth players Gwyn Amonte and Abby Sturtevant, so another off-season of growth bodes well for the tennis program as they look toward 2023.
“I’d love to see everyone get in some swings this summer and continue to improve their individual games in the off-season” by playing in some USTA individual tournaments, Nielsen said.
A 15-5 regular season earned Plymouth North the ninth seed in the Division 2 state tournament. They defeated Nashoba Regional, 3-2, in the opening round before being swept by Notre Dame Academy-Hingham in the round of 16.
The Eagles were strong at singles this season with Emily Goulian and Ava Boyajian both putting together 13-8 regular season records and earning a spot as Patriot League All-Stars.
Both Goulian and Boyajian “made huge jumps from last year,” Nielsen said. “Having two players at the top of the singles order you can count on to bring home a win each match is a huge help to the team.”
Kelsey Davis spent most of her time at third doubles this season, but she moved up in the playing order when needed to fill a spot and even dropped back into doubles play for a couple of matches this season. She had a solid record of 12-5 for the year.
Aislyn Kelleher and Nyla Lavoie were 12-5 as a team at first doubles this season. Nielsen had some choices to make each match at second doubles with the tandems of Helena Dhillon/Kendall Zemotel and Sammi Cheung/Kaitlyn Ng both playing well when given the chance to play.
Amonte won the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete honor and Zemotel won the Sportsmanship Award. The Eagles were also named the team sportsmanship winner.
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