York Suburban tennis coach Rebecca Toman could see the potential that Liv Pindzola had last season during her freshman year. Toman knew Pindzola needed a little bit more experience in match play before she would really start to flourish.
Now a sophomore, Pindzola has held York Suburban’s No. 1 spot during the 2016 season, and she has helped contribute to another successful campaign for the Trojans.
“It’s been pretty fun being number one, but also pretty nerve-racking,” Pindzola said. “Over the summer I played a lot of tennis with private lessons and some of my teammates. That helped me improve over the summer.”
The focus of her offseason workouts, in part, was working to improve her serve, Pindzola said. The sophomore felt that it was not one of her stronger skill sets last year, but that it has become more consistent this season.
Toman has noticed the improvement in Pindzola as well. The Trojans’ coach has seen her play to her strengths as well as adjust to opponents with much more ease.
“Liv is a very hard worker and an extremely coachable kid,” Toman said. “At the end of last year we talked about how her ball placement and racket acceleration was something that was gonna really help her. She worked very hard at those two things in the offseason and it made a huge difference for her coming in. Her strokes are much more dominating this year.”
Pindzola has also benefited from having the chance to work with two high school tennis coaches. Aside from Toman, Pindzola trains with Spring Grove tennis coach Holly Metzger.
The two began working together when Pindzola was 6-years-old and participated in camp at the Jewish Community Center, where Metzger was a coach. Pindzola started taking private lessons with her after that, and the two different coaching perspectives have helped Pindzola’s game.
“(Toman and Metzger) are both such great coaches and they know so much about how to help players my age,” Pindzola said. “So it’s good to get a different set of eyes on my weaknesses and how I can improve, and my strengths and how I can make those even better.”
It is a considerable feat for Pindzola to be the Trojans’ No. 1 player this season. Suburban has several veteran players on the roster, including Samantha Clancy, Dilly O’Donnell, Elizabeth Huh and Maddie Lenker. Pindzola is happy that she is being rewarded for the effort she puts into the sport.
“It’s pretty crazy, but I’m glad to see that all my hard work over the past nine years has paid off,” she said.
The YAIAA regular season is nearly complete and the league's individual tournament will begin on Thursday. Pindzola will be making her second career appearance this season, she appeared in the individual and doubles tournament last season.
So she knows the level of competition that she’ll face there.
“I know that I’m not going to get down on myself if I lose because I know that they’re great players,” Pinzola said. “But I’m excited to go and experience it again.”
Toman is looking forward to continuing to work with Pindzola and sees her only improving as her career progresses.
“She is definitely on track to continue improving,” Toman said. “I don’t see her not wanting to work on particular aspects of her game. … I believe that Liv will just continue to improve. She’s got that positive attitude, she’s got the work ethic to work in the offseason, and she understands working in the offseason is what makes her grow more.”
YAIAA singles tournament
Opening round: 2 p.m. Thursday
Semifinals: 2 p.m. Friday
Finals and consolations: 9 a.m. Saturday
Host school: South Western High School