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Year two of a three-year rebuilding process is underway for the Chariho girls tennis team.
Last season the Chargers easily had one of the youngest teams in Division II with a singles ladder entirely made up of underclassmen and a few more freshmen and sophomores playing in doubles.
As expected, it was a tough season for Chariho as it finished the regular season 2-10 in Division II-Suburban A.
The bright side of last yearâ€™s struggles of course is now the majority of the team is back from last season and so far is showing signs of improvement.
â€śThe ones that came from last year are looking good,â€ť coach Betty Walsh says. â€śâ€¦Iâ€™m pleased with it and Iâ€™d be happy even if they donâ€™t win as long as they challenged people and possibly won some too.â€ť
There is no change at the top of the ladder for the Chargers this season as last yearâ€™s No. 1 and No. 2 singles players â€“ junior Katherine Bodell and sophomore Elizabeth Trombino â€“ are back with a full year of varsity competition under their belts this season.
â€śTheyâ€™re all energetic and willing and I hope weâ€™re going to give teams some good competition,â€ť Walsh says. â€śâ€¦They were my two best players last year and theyâ€™re both looking strong. I hope they have better seasons for themselves because theyâ€™re playing really well.â€ť
Sophomore Jessica Morehouse is also back to play No. 3 singles for Chariho, while at No. 4 singles sophomore Colleen McCauley edged out junior Jessica Santilli for the spot.
Sophomores Ally Huzyk and Jennifer Blay will start the year at No. 1 doubles, while first-year senior Casey Larkin and Santilli will also see time in doubles.
Walsh is well aware that while her team is a year older it is still very young, yet she is still hoping for the best from her squad.
â€śI only have the one senior on the team but sheâ€™s a first-year player,â€ť Walsh says. â€śWe certainly canâ€™t do any worse than last year and the only place we can go is up.â€ť
The Chargers got their first test of the season Wednesday when they traveled to East Providence for their season opener (results unavailable at press time) and are back in action today at 4 p.m. for their first home match as they host North Providence.