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Chambersburg girls tennis going back to the basics

Don't expect Chambersburg to rack up the tallies in the win column this year in girls tennis.

Admittedly, the Trojans are going to be on a learning curve this year, and although expectations aren't soaring, the main focus is pure improvement.

"This is a learning year for everybody," Chambersburg coach Bill Wissinger said. "No one on this team really understands how to play the game. They just don't have enough playing experience."

Although the Trojans return a pair of seniors, the team is mostly made up of newcomers to varsity. Wissinger said he has had to start with the basics in order to get the girls ready for match play.

"The biggest problem I see is our inability to track the ball," Wissinger said. "Every time we see a ball, we run straight toward where it's going to bounce. I've spent a lot of time talking about where it's going to bounce and what happens after it bounces, and that's just a concept that is going to take a lot of work to figure out."

With the season looming just around the corner, a lot of questions remain for the Trojans, including uncertainties about the starting lineup. One thing is for sure, though. Sophomore Madison Mellinger will be taking over the No. 1 singles spot.

"It's kind of scary because I'm only a sophomore," Mellinger said. "But I'm excited because I can get good experience playing against better girls and seeing what they do."

Kara Wiley and Emma Guare return. Guare will likely play No. 2 singles, while Wiley may see time at both singles and doubles.

"I just hope they improve throughout the season," Wissinger said. "They both have some height, so hopefully they can develop some easy points off their serve, and maybe get to the net more."

Another promising singles player is Hope Sprecher, who will either play No. 3 singles or doubles.

"If she plays singles, she seems passionate enough to really get something going," Wissinger said. "Madison and her are both sophomores, so they're here for this year and the next two years. That bodes well, but only if they spend the time in the offseason working on their game."

If not, it may be back to the basics again for Wissinger and the Trojans next year.

Trojans at a glance

Coach: Bill Wissinger, fourth year, 17-27 (.386)

Last year: 4-11 (2-5 Mid Penn Commonwealth Division)

Returning starters: Kara Wiley (sr., singles/doubles), Emma Guare (sr., singles)

Other top players: Madison Mellinger (so., No. 1 singles), Hope Sprecher (so., singles/doubles), Caroline Hance (so., doubles), Aubrey Carlin (jr., doubles), Kaylin Shearer (jr., doubles)

Season opener: Wednesday, at home vs. State College, 4