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Trojans will focus on playing winning tennis

Parkland girls tennis coach Mike Hingston says people would be surprised how often they can win, if they don’t first lose.

It’s a simple statement, but it’s also true. His Trojan teams over the years are smart, focused, talented, well-coached and usually make the other team earn whatever they get.

“If you play well in practice, you’ll usually play well in the game,” Hingston. “I tell the girls ‘let’s make sure you’re not contributing to a loss.’”

One thing that almost was lost was the 2020 season. Granted, nothing is guaranteed and that includes the season. For now, however, Hingston is thrilled his girls are back where they belong - on the court.

“We’re excited about the season,” he said. “So far it’s probably the most normal thing in my life. It’s also nice for them to be around each other again.”

The coronavirus layoff did hurt his girls’ conditioning, but it didn’t take long for the club to bounce back into condition.

Erin Joo started the season as Parkland’s number one singles player. During the offseason, Joo “worked very hard on her game” to move up to the top slot. “She’s just played great and is excited about the opportunity,” Hingston said.

Leah Zolotareva, “a fierce competitor,” received the number two singles assignment. Her coach said she is a “fierce competitor” who sets high expectations for herself. Those expectations have merit because Zolotareva has a solid backcourt game that often befuddles and then wears down opponents.

Anshika Gupta earned the number three slot, due in part to an improved net game and a history of successful doubles play.

Hingston’s doubles teams includes Sophia Lee, who he calls “a coach’s dream” and is a role model for her teammates. The duo of Hope Broadhurst and Sophia Petrocelli could mean trouble for their opponents.

“Hope has an astounding improvement and loves being a part of our program,” Hingston said, while Petrocelli “has an excellent groundstroke and is improving everyday.”

The number four doubles team will consist of Grace Werteen and Sierra Russo. Werteen “has done everything you could ask her to do,” and Russo “is a breath of fresh air who works really hard.”

The Trojans started strong with two 7-0 victories over Central Catholic in the season’s first week. The season’s second week features home-and-away dates with Whitehall with William Allen slated for the the following week.

When asked to assess his team’s 2020 chances, Hingston was direct.

“No doubt they are going to do well,” he said.

True to forum, Hingston said he is not focused their record, but on having his team prepared to win and not lose.

PRESS FILE PHOTO Erin Joo will play at the No. 1 singles position for Parkland this fall.