If the Lady Comets tennis players seem to have a little extra bounce in their step during home matches, it’s likely due to the new playing surface on the courts at Abington Heights Middle School.
“I am overjoyed with the new courts,” Abington Heights senior Cierra Beck said. “They turned out beautiful. The surface is just like the courts used for the US Open professional tennis tournament, so it’s amazing to play on a court that the pros would enjoy playing on. Also, the new fences are beautiful; they make the courts look so much better from the exterior.”
Besides beautifying the look of the courts, Beck added that the new fences have been beneficial during play.
“They were built with California Corners, or rounded corners, making it easier to retrieve tennis balls and preventing us from tripping on them during practices and matches,” she said.
According to head coach Tom Lavelle, the whole team was thrilled with the final product after playing all their matches on the road during construction.
“Their excitement the first time they could play on them was through the roof,” he said. “Between the aesthetic look of the courts and the way they play, the team is very excited. We look forward to a lot of great seasons playing on them.
“We’re appreciative of the administration and school board’s efforts of seeing the project all the way through to completion.”
The new surface is already paying dividends. The team won their first two matches on the courts.
“We’ve only been able to play on the courts for a few days, but so far the new surface has improved our game greatly,” Beck said. “The improved surface helps the balls to bounce faster, improving our timing and racquet preparation. Also, our footwork has improved, since we can move quickly around the court without watching for cracks or bumps.”
Despite playing most of their matches on the road, the Lady Comets have a 12-1 overall record. Lavelle credits the team’s depth for their success.
“I’m really proud of our lineup from top to bottom,” he said. “Tyra Abdalla is undefeated at number one singles and our number two and three singles players, Cierra Beck and Caroline Mattise, are having great seasons, as well as our two doubles teams of Katie Decker-Rachel Smertz and Catherine Pusateri-Jessica Rickwood.
“It’s truly been a team effort. It’s about us all coming together to get three points.”
With districts, and possibly states, on the horizon, Lavelle believes his team has the potential to be a factor.
“We need to build some momentum,” he said. “If we make improvements in some areas, I expect us to be competitive at the district level.”
The team will play their final home match this season when they host Holy Cross on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 4 p.m.