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PAWTUCKETâ€”It has been a strong start to date for the Exeter-West Greenwich High School boys tennis team.
Coming off a .500 season last year the Knights have rattled off three straight wins to start their season at 3-1, following a 6-1 win over Shea High School last Thursday.
After a strong showing in 2011 where the Knights went 11-1 and earned a trip to the Rhode Island Interscholastic League Division III championship, the team took a bit of a step back in 2012.
Hampered by the loss of their top end players from the season prior, EWG finished 6-6 last season and failed to qualify for the playoffs.
With a year of seasoning and maturation under their belt, however, the Knights are putting last seasonâ€™s struggles behind them.
â€ś[We are] 3-1 going into vacation, whatâ€™s better than that?â€ť said EWG coach Gerry Boucher. â€śWe should do well. I have mostly seniors on the team.
â€śThey have been playing for four years, theyâ€™re experienced and theyâ€™re good athletes.â€ť
Despite their big wins early in the season Boucher does not think it is a lock for his team to just breeze through their 2013 schedule.
Still feeling the effects from the loss of the teamâ€™s better players two seasons ago, the Knights have struggled to get wins at the top end of their lineup.
While their ladder might not be top heavy like in the past, what the Knights do have in their favor is depth and balance that makes their team strong throughout.
â€śWe donâ€™t have the top end players we had before,â€ť Boucher said. â€śItâ€™s different, but theyâ€™re all pretty equal. Thereâ€™s really not much difference between my second doubles and my first singles.â€ť
The start has been good, but improvement will need to be made as the season continues for EWG.
The down side of having such an even ladder so far has been in finiding consistency from one match to the next but according to Boucher his team is making prgoress.
â€ś[Our focus is for] everybody get out there and improve over the year,â€ť he said. â€śAll these guys have been coming along. We have good athletes and weâ€™re going to get some points out of that.â€ť
Currently the Knights are enjoying an extended break courtesy of school vacation as they are in the midst of an 11-day hiatus from competition.
EWG will be back in action Monday at 3 p.m. in North Smithfield.