Change came to the 2018 Chambersburg girls tennis team in the form of new coach Josh Barwin.
The result was a 6-9 record — a big improvement over recent seasons.
But change is necessary again for the 2019 season because the Trojans must replace their entire starting lineup. Every girl who played varsity last year was a senior.
“We have nobody with varsity experience and only three got experience on the junior varsity last year,” Barwin said. “And of all the new girls this year, I think only one had much experience playing the game at all before.”
As a result, Barwin and assistant coach Mike Kolumban have had their work cut out for them.
“We knew we were losing seven girls last year and had only 15 on the team,” Barwin said, “so Mike and I went into the middle schools and recruited. Actually, some of the girls on last year’s team helped us, too.
“And we had a good turnout — we have eight freshmen on the team this year after having only one last year. We are hoping to build from the bottom up.”
The Trojans, who open their season this afternoon at Norlo Park against Mechanicsburg at 4 p.m., have 19 players on the roster.
After a week of practice, senior Kirsten Gerhart has emerged as the No. 1 singles player, followed by No. 2 Stormy Jackson (jr.) and No. 3 Kenna Shearer (sr.).
At No. 1 doubles are sophomores Avery Wissinger and Aspen Kimberly, while freshman Ridglee Flohr and senior Maddie Faust will play No. 2 doubles.
Barwin said, “I think we needed a culture change, and I think we’ve seen a lot of improvement in that in a year’s time. And having a full year under my belt will be nice.
“Mike and I held open courts this summer and we were able to do a lot of drills with the girls. We’ve had to dive into the basics.”
Despite the team’s inexperience, Barwin believes good things are ahead for the Trojans.
“Even though this is kind of a building-block year, I think we can compete,” he said. “We’ve only had one week of practice, but we’ll be ready, and I think we can make some noise in the Mid Penn.”
NOTES: Chambersburg was 1-5 in Mid Penn Commonwealth matches last year … Barwin said he was pleased with last year’s results … “We almost went .500 and we had girls make the second day of Mid Penns, so we did some good things.”