Girls tennis team working hard but struggling

By Duncan Nixon

The Fluco girl’s tennis team under first year Coach Terry Schnitter has been struggling early in the season. They have yet to post a win. Schnitter has an interesting line-up of young and older players. His number one player is sophomore Emma Pittman whose game certainly must be improving as she played at number five and six last season. Number two this season is Emma Ward, a senior, who has moved up from number three last year. Another senior is Aubrie Seay, who has also jumped up one slot. Senior Alyssa Johnson plays in the number four slot. Number five is freshman Jocelyn Childress and number six is senior Juarez-Viveros Itza.

Doubles teams are, as is often the case, made up of the one through six players, with one and two, three and four and five and six playing together. In high school tennis all matches are of equal weight. If a team has two top players who easily win their individual and doubles matches, that gives the team three points, but if the team has little depth and loses at the lower seeds the team can lose its match. As a result, having the top two players doesn’t guarantee a team win. Tennis is a tough sport for Fluvanna, as many aspiring young tennis players start young on country club courts. Fluvanna County does not have any country clubs.

Coach Schnitter points out that his team is unique in one respect in that it has two back-up players from far away. Senior Anastasila Pupyrina is an exchange student from Ukraine and junior Sanira Kurmanbekova is an exchange student from Kazakhstan.

Coach Schittner is assisted by Shane Bowman, a 2015 graduate of Fluvanna High School and a former Fluco tennis player.

After a lay-off for spring break, the girl’s tennis team will be back in action, with a busy schedule. On April 11 they host Monticello High. On April 13, they travel to Orange County, and on the next day they host a traditionally powerful Albemarle High squad. On April 16 they play at Waynesboro.

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