By BRIAN JENNINGS
2017 REGULAR SEASON
Overall Record—10-6 (5-3 home, 5-3 away).
CCC South Region Record—5-5.
CCC South White Division Record/Ranking—2-3, 3rd/6.
CCC South White Champion—Rocky Hill (12-7, 8-2).
CCC South White Runner-Up—Berlin (10-6, 7-3).
Class S Tournament:
Qualifying Round (at Nystrom’s Park)—#10 Shepaug 6, #23 Plainville 1.
Class S Championship (at Wilton)—#4 Weston 6, #14 NW Catholic 1.
Opening Round of Singles Tournament (at Conard)—Huyen (SeSe) Nguyen, Avon, def. #21 Erin Brochu, Plainville, default.
1st Round of Singles Tournament (at Conard)—Edona Bytyqi, Wolcott, def. Elyssa Tomczyk, Plainville, default.
1st Round of Doubles Tournament (at Hall)—Kendall Cathcart-Chloe Troy, Wethersfield, def. Aleksandra Fiedorowicz-Angela Zheng, Plainville, default.
State Open Singles Championship—#4 Alexandra DeNucci, Glastonbury, def. #6 Gabriella Dellacono, Stonington, 6-1, 6-3. State Open Doubles Championship—#2 Devon Yaghmaie-Taylor Yaghmaie, Stamford def. #1 Megan Brown-Kristin Butler, Staples, 6-0, 7-6.
Head Coach—Chuck Radda, entering 33rd year as head coach of varsity program.
Overall Coaching Record—233-249.
Key Losses (5 graduated):
Elyssa Tomczyk—#1 singles, team captain, all-conference, qualified for state open, finished 2017 season at 12-5.
Erin Brochu—#2 singles, team captain, all-conference, qualified for state open, finished 2017 season at 16-0.
Aleksa Fiedorowicz—#1 doubles, finished 2017 season at 7-5.
Angela Zheng—#1 doubles, finished 2017 season at 7-5.
Caroline St. Pierre (senior)—Doubles, played at #2 doubles last season and won seven matches.
Kelly Tuczapski (senior)—Doubles, has experience in singles and doubles.
Other Key Returners:
Anna Stehle (senior)—Doubles, played at #2 doubles last season and won seven matches.
Hannah Charest (senior)—Doubles, played at #3 doubles last season and garnered team’s lone win in Class S Tournament.
Elona Tanski (senior)—Doubles, played at #3 doubles last season and garnered team’s lone win in Class S Tournament.
Andrea Ybanez (junior)—#1 singles, played at #4 singles last season.
Maggie Cronkhite (sophomore)—#2 singles, filled in at various spots throughout singles lineup last season.
Olivia Wazorko (sophomore)—#3 singles, played sparingly last year.
Samantha Conte (sophomore)—#4 singles, played sparingly last year.
Karla Juarez (senior)—Singles, doubles, very little previous experience.
Emma Snowden (senior)—Singles, doubles, very little previous experience.
New Key Additions:
Sarah Tomczyk (junior)—Singles, doubles, first year.
The Observer asked Radda the following questions about the upcoming season:
Observer—What were your overall thoughts about last season?
Radda—We had a great beginning. We hung on at the end. All-in-all, it was a good season.
O—What did the program accomplish or gain?
R—Twenty-eight wins at #1 and #2 singles gave us credibility.
O—What can be taken from last season into this season?
R—They learned what it was like to win. Now, we’ll see if they want to make the same effort as last year’s seniors.
O—What stands out and is unique about this year’s team? What is the one big thing about this year’s team?
R—We are very young and very inconsistent. From day to day, players go from mediocre to very good and back again. But the potential here is limitless, and the enthusiasm is contagious. I’ve bought into it.
O—What are going to be the keys to having a successful season?
R—We’ve made a commitment to go with youth at singles and experience at doubles. We can always make changes if we need to, but the singles players know what they’re up against, and they don’t care. We might be very tough some days, but on others, we may have to bite the bullet.
O—What positions or areas of the playing field is the team strongest in?
R— We have enthusiasm from the starters down to our five new players…some of whom would have been starting in other years.
O—What positions or areas of the playing field does the team have to improve most?
R—Consistency is always the bête noire of young players, but they’re getting there. Every day, they show more maturity, and there’s no question about their desire.
O—Are there any other major changes from last year, either to the league, schedule, team, or program in general?
R—We play some tough teams…big schools. We’re going to know early on what the season will be like, and we’re all, myself included, going to need patience and determination.
O—Why should people follow the team?
R—They’re young and on the rise, and we’re loaded with good athletes.
O—If you had to headline the upcoming season, what would it be?
R—Basically, whatever happens is going to be a surprise.