JFK tennis rolling into sectional play

First-year John F. Kennedy girls tennis coach Brian Fry couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome of his first season at the helm, thus far.

The Eagles are 15-3, going into the Division II Northeast District sectional tournament at Boardman (Boardman/Struthers Tennis Complex), and their No. 1 player happens to be the No. 1 seed amongst singles qualifiers.

“I’m really encouraged (by what I’m seeing from this team),” Fry said. “I knew we would have a really good year, and I’m really happy with the results so far. We just played our last match and beat Hoban, 3-2.”

The Eagle tennis team is a young one, as their No. 1 player, Kaytlin Marlatt, is just a sophomore. The No. 1 sectional qualifier will face the winner of the Athena Anastasiadis (Lakeview) vs. Megan Murphy (Brookfield) match.

According to Fry, Marlatt won a district match as a freshman last year, and he expects her to do bigger things this time around.

“(Marlatt’s chances) coming out of sectionals is pretty good,” Fry said. “If she can win two district matches this year, she’ll go to state, (and) that’s the goal.”

While many will have their eyes on Marlatt, she won’t be the only Eagle represented at sectionals, which begin at 8 a.m. on Wednesday. Jermani Bryant will face Liberty’s Rina Raib in the first round of singles play, while Liz McCue will face Brookfield’s Liz Drummond.

Meanwhile, in doubles pairings, Gina Biviano and Sophia Zamarelli face off against Lakeview, while Caitlyn Condoleon and Paras Kontos are the No. 3 seed, going up against Niles.

“It’s always interesting when you put two singles players on a doubles team in the sectional tournament,” Fry said of the pairing of Condoleon and Kontos. “I’m a big believer in serve-return, and they’re both pretty good returners.”

In fact, Condoleon is just a freshman, and managed to go 11-3 in singles play during the regular season, while simultaneously juggling her tennis commitment with soccer. Kontos, meanwhile, is said to be very dedicated to the sport, according to Fry.

“They’ve (Condoleon and Kontos) pulled out a lot of huge matches for us. We won a lot of 3-2 matches this year,” Fry said. “It’s great to think about the future here with all of our talented young players.”

Other than Kennedy, several other local players will be represented in Division II sectional tournament play. Included in this group are No. 3 seed Alex Plyler (Brookfield), while Poland’s doubles team of Marisa Ricciardi and Audrey Schweers are the No. 1 pairing in doubles play.

The Division I Northeast Sectional tournament, held at Canton’s Harvard Courts (Oct. 4-8), features the No. 1-seeded Canfield doubles team of Hannah and Sydney Ciancola. Boardman’s Kate Bodamer and Carly Amendola are seeded eighth, while Fitch’s Christa Schall and Emoni Davis are seeded 14th.