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Cape girls tennis looks to reload in 2020

Underclassmen step up for singles
March 18, 2020

The Lady Vikings defeated Caesar Rodney for the first time in 11 years in 2019, and finished just one point out of a second-place finish at the Henlopen Conference tournament. This year’s squad will be expected to fill big shoes and continue the legacy set in 2019.

The Vikings’ top five players from last season, Marcella Sabbagh, Anna Harrington, Taylor Smith, Maryann Tietbohl and Amanda Sponaugle, were lost to graduation. That would normally have coach Laurie Carter in rebuild mode, but as assistant coach Dave Shook says, au contraire. This coach and team need only reload with the host of players that have been champing at the bit to break into the lineup.

Coach Carter will look to for experience and leadership from the 2019 second doubles team of Samantha Connors and Julianna Warnock, who were silver medalists at the Henlopen Conference tournament. Both players are poised to assume singles positions in the Vikings lineup. The early team round robin has produced a number of solidly improved players who will vie for starting singles or doubles positions.  

Leading the charge for starting positions are freshman Noa Aboutboul, sophomore Mackenzie Vitolo and senior Ava Lynam.  

“All three players have improved and round out the team’s possible singles lineup for us,” said Carter.

Players working hard to earn a starting doubles role are junior Sami Messina and sophomores Leonora Demerutis, Dilvi Patel, Olivia Duffield, Madison Costello and Calista Turman.

Other players who have survived the cut and look to improve and contribute are Riley Roberts, Mackenzie Irelan and CeCe Reid.

The Lady Vikings were set open play at home March 23 against Milford, but the coronavirus pandemic has delayed the 2020 season.