By: Drew Hendrickson, Director of Tennis, Fitness, and Summer Programs
We are three weeks into the season, and every team in the league has been tested at least once. In these early goings, it is only the Umana who has emerged unscathed, though the Frederick, undefeated with one tie, has only been mildly scathed.
Ranked 3rd in the pre-season poll, the Umana is the early leader in this young 2016-2017 TMSTL campaign. They most recently went into enemy territory and took down the defending Crane Cup champs, the McCormack, 3-1.
The Frederick, meanwhile, has taken advantage of the friendly confines of their home courts, the Melnea Cass Center. They soundly beat the JMann 2-0 and hung tough for a 1-1 tie against the upstart Washington Irving.
In an effort to play more matches, save a little money on rental cars, and reduce the need for staff to work Friday evenings, more matches have been played during the week. This has prevented head coaches from attending every match and has left some players to their own devices on the courts. Who knows if Curley 8th grader Kyla Cohen-Lesley would have pulled one out against the JMann if Coach Payne were there to provide his invaluable tutelage.
This Friday afternoon’s match may serve as bellwether for the rest of the season. A double header at the Cass Center will first pit the McCormack against the Curley and then against the Frederick. If Coach Ruggles can guide his team through this gauntlet, it will catapult them in the standings and send a clear message that will reverberate throughout the league.