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MHS Girls Tennis Adjusts to New League

The first year in the Hockomock League has brought about a new challenge for the Milford High School girls' tennis team. The new league is deeper and has more talent than the Mid-Wach, according to Scarlet Hawks' head coach Jim Beyer. "The Hock is one of the toughest girls varsity leagues in the state this year," he said. "The teams are much deeper and every point is difficult this year, which has not always been the case in the past."
Milford began the week with a 5-6 record as a team, but Beyer thinks the stronger competition has made his younger players develop their games more quickly. "I think my sophomores and juniors are coming into their own because they are forced to plat at a much higher level much sooner," he said "Even the exhibition matches are tough and competitive, especially against the larger schools that have a lot more kids to draw from than Milford."
Milford has more than held its own despite the strong competition. Three of the Scarlet Hawks' losses have come in the final set of the final match. Kelly Beyer has played number one singles and posted a .500 record while being matched up against the opponent's top player. Senior Rose Kimba has been a consistent presence at number two singles, and the number three singles spot has been shared by junior Kayla Williamson and senior Jenny Hill.
"Kayla has done very well, especially considering this is her first venture into singles," said Beyer. "Jenny has been on varsity for four years and is just starting to play some singles. I think she will do very well, she's been an excellent doubles player and I strongly back her desire to venture into singles."
Senior Maddie Szczypinski and sophomore Jenny Trapp have also competed in doubles matches, and four other sophomores are on the cusp of moving into the starting lineup. Beyer holds challenge matches at practice, giving some of the younger players the opportunity to play their way onto the varsity court. While acknowledging the need to continue to improve as a program in order to compete, Beyer says he likes the tougher task of winning in the Hockomock.
"You don't get better unless you play against good competition," he said. "We are trying to work with the US Tennis Association to get some programs in phys ed classes and at the middle school level to get the pool of players increased."
Beyer says he had nearly 40 girls try out this season and kept more than 30 within either the varsity or JV programs. There is still a need for more players with a year-round focus on tennis in order to keep up with the strongest teams in the new league.
"The numbers were great this year, but we need to improve upon developing the younger grades," said Beyer. "We have two or three athletes who play all year and we need to double that number, at least, for us to be competitive in the new league."




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