SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

July 9, 2013

Salem News 2013 Girls Tennis All-Stars


The Salem News

---- — SALEM NEWS GIRLS TENNIS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

TORY BOOTH

Marblehead Sophomore

First Singles

Inexperience didn’t hinder Marblehead’s Tory Booth in her freshman season with the Magicians in 2012. So with a season under her belt this spring, the youngster had an outstanding sophomore campaign.

The Northeastern Conference was bursting at the seams with talent this year as teams like Beverly, Peabody, Swampscott and Danvers all boasted elite first singles players. But Booth beat them all as the Magicians went 16-0 in the NEC and 20-2 overall.

“Tory has the concentration to move people around the court,” said Beverly head coach Keith Brickhouse. “It’s like she’s almost playing a chess match, where she knows how to move her opponents and play them well. She’s an athletic kid.”

The Player of the Year in the NEC Small, Booth relies on her biggest strengths — a phenomenal serve, footwork and stamina — when she’s on the court. The highly competitive sophomore earned the No. 4 seed for the North State Individual Tournament and made it to the quarterfinals.

Booth doesn’t get lured in by opponents looking to play long points by putting plenty of topspin on the ball.

“I think I came out really strong this season and played really aggressively, which was different from last year,” said Booth. “I think everyone on the team stepped it up, had a really great season and it was a lot fun.”

THE ALL-STARS

ANNA RAPTUNOVICH

Swampscott Sophomore

First Singles

Was phenomenal in her second season as the Big Blue’s No. 1 singles player, going 17-4 … Had two strong matches against NEC Player of the Year Victoria Booth of Marblehead … Considers pro tennis superstar Maria Sharapova to be her biggest athletic influence … Second team NEC all star … Impressive range and relentlessness make her a very tough opponent on the court.

MEGGIE MANZO

Beverly Senior

First Singles

Named the Beverly MVP this past season … Will attend Clarkson University to study Biology and play soccer … A team captain … Helped lead Beverly to a 12-4 record and a Northeastern Conference Large title … Named second-team NEC all star at first singles … Graduated with a 4.24 GPA … Has been motivated by her father throughout her career.

VERONICA PYATIGORSKAYA

Swampscott Sophomore

Third Singles

Made the switch from first doubles to third singles and strived from the get-go ... Finished a perfect 20-0 on the season … Showed guts against Marblehead when she turned her ankle, then battled to defeat Sarah Katz 6-2, 6-0 … A sound player that’s comfortable with many different shots … Has a strong serve … Played her best against Concord-Carlisle and Lynnfield … A NEC all star.

HANNAH LYNCH

Ipswich Junior

Third Singles

Finished the regular season with a record of 11-3 … A two time Ipswich captain …. Named MVP this season and has won Tigers’ Coaches Award and All-Cape Ann League honors … Won a two-and-a-half hour, three-set match at the State Individual tournament … Believes her concistency and composure are her biggest strengths … Had the most wins for Ipswich this spring.

CAROLINE GRIBBELL

Hamilton-Wenham Junior

First Singles

Defeated Lynnfield’s top player, who had been all but perfect in the season until that point … A two time Generals’ team MVP … Finished the season 10-4 overall and 9-2 in the Cape Ann League ... Hamilton-Wenham’s No. 1 player ... Holds a 3.1 GPA … Hopes to play soccer in college … Thrives on the positive pressure from her coaches.

DANIELLE DUNN

Masconomet Junior

First Singles

Earned her school’s Scholar-Athlete Award this spring … Great composure is never really out of a match until it’s over … Considers her strong forehand to be her biggest strength … Holds a 3.8 GPA and plans to play tennis at Merrimack College … Credits her father as her biggest influence for helping her since the first day she could hold a racquet.

KELLY MEALEY

Marblehead Sophomore

First Doubles

Finished the season at 14-3 partnered with Meghan Gabel ... Northeastern Conference all-star ... Recalls defeating rival Swampscott under the lights as her favorite on-court memory … Is an outstanding volleyer with great hands and range … Holds a 3.6 GPA … Credits soccer coach Stefano Fanciosa as her biggest athletic influence.

RACHEL ZINER

Danvers Senior

First Singles

Was 14-3 on the season … Defeated Hannah Conroy of Reading in a two-and-a-half hour, three-set match that went to a tie-breaker … Can serve 91 MPH and has a powerful forehand … A team captain … Earned the Falcons MVP honors ... Graduated ranked 28 out of a class of 250 with a 3.65 GPA … Will attend Quinnipiac University studying in the seven-year doctoral physical therapy program.

ASHLEY SULKIN

Ipswich Junior

First Singles

Received Ipswich’s Coaches Award … Relies on her forehand as her biggest strength during matches … A tough player whose on-court experience helps everyone around her … Has been on the Tigers’ varsity since freshman year … Credits John Tracy for teaching her about the game of tennis and for always being there for her … Boasts a 3.82 GPA.

KIM BARZOLA

Salem Senior

Third/First Singles

Team captain .. Graduated sixth in her class with a 4.35 GPA … Considers her endurance, court movement and ball placement to be her biggest strengths … Will attend Boston University for Environmental and Political Science … Was 8-1 at third singles ... Northeastern Conference all-star also played a half dozen matches at first singles ... Stayed with tennis after being cut freshman year.

MEGHAN GABEL

Marblehead Senior

First Doubles

Team captain … Was 16-2 on the season … Named to the NEC all-star team … Was player of the month in April … Helped Marblehead grab its third NEC Small Championship in a row … Came away with a big win over Manchester-Essex … Will attend Villanova University … Uses her height to her advantage when volleying ... Graduated in top five percent of her class.

RACHEL GILLIS

Peabody

First Singles

Helped lead Peabody to a 12-4 record in conference play … Named Northeastern Conference Large Player of the Year … Makes few mistakes on the court and is prone to playing (and winning) long matches … A great come-from-behind player who never gets rattled … Holds a 3.9 GPA … One of the best conditioned players in the NEC … Puts excellent topspin on the ball.

JILLIAN MORNEAU

Beverly Senior

Second Singles

Earned team MVP honors this spring for the Panthers … Named to the Northeastern Conference all-star team … Team captain … Graduated with a 4.5 GPA and will attend Stevens Institute of Technology to study biomedical engineering … Finished the year with a 12-2 mark .. Considers defeating Peabody for the NEC Large Championship her favorite memory.

VIVIAN GERE

Swampscott Freshman

Second Singles

Made a big impact as a freshman with the Big Blue by going 18-2 in the regular season … Came away with a big road win against Marblehead captain Annie Ryan … Had her favorite moment on the court this spring in a three-set match against Burlington … Credits her parents and coaches as her biggest athletic influences.

DANY CHHAN

Peabody Junior

Third Singles

This Tanner tennis player is self-taught and excels at keeping her opponents on their toes … Finished 14-2 on the season … Earned Tanners’ MVP award … Tri-captain for next year …. Has a great cross-court forehand … Recalls the emotional loss against Beverly as her favorite memory because of the way the Tanners supported each other.

 

HONORABLE MENTION

Beverly: Christine Green, Sr., doubles; Katie Lane, Sr., doubles.

Bishop Fenwick: Megan McCarthy, Jr. first singles.

Danvers: Alyssa Feldman, Sr., doubles; Deana Dalkouras, Jr., third singles.

Hamilton-Wenham: Caroline Flores, Sr., first doubles; Colleen Ford, Sr., first doubles.

Ipswich: Lexi Lopez, Jr., second singles; Lizzy Gray, Soph., second doubles.

Marblehead: Meagan Hanratty, Fr., second doubles; Amanda Gilberg, Jr., second doubles.

Peabody: Anna Grimalyak, Jr., first doubles; Kayla Hodas, Soph., first doubles.

Pingree: Samantha Torto, Sr., singles; Erin Cunningham Jr., singles.

Salem: Ari Gaffney, Soph., singles.

Swampscott: Allegra Walker, Sr., first doubles; Jessica Zolott, Jr., doubles.