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ConVal girls’ tennis takes a risk, ends on high note

  • ConVal’s no. 5 Natalie LaFleur gets herself in position to hit a tennis ball.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • ConVal’s no. 1 Julia Peters has a chance at the state tournament as a single and as a doubles team with her performance against Manchester West on Wednesday.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • ConVal's no. 2 Natasha Kipka serves the ball.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • ConVal’s no. 1 Julia Peters hits the ball during a match at Adams Playground on Wednesday.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • ConVal's no. 2 Natasha Kipka was dominant all season, finishing with an 11-2 record in singles matches.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • ConVal's no. 6 Jill Karlicek serves the ball.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • ConVal’s no. 5 Natalie LaFleur watches the ball sail over the net.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • ConVal's no. 6 Jill Karlicek prepares to hit the ball.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • ConVal's no. 6 Jill Karlicek prepares to hit the ball.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • ConVal's no. 2 Natasha Kipka played her last regular season matches on Wednesday. She is the only senior on the team.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • ConVal’s no. 1 Julia Peters hits a tennis ball while playing against her Manchester West opponent on Wednesday.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • ConVal’s no. 3 Zoe Werth serves the ball.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • ConVal's no. 3 Zoe Werth hits a tennis ball during her singles match on Wednesday.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • ConVal's no. 4 Catrina Kipka hits the ball.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • ConVal's no. 4 Catrina Kipka waits for the ball to be served.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • ConVal's no. 4 Catrina Kipka watches the tennis ball sail over the net.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • ConVal's no. 3 Zoe Werth prepares to hit the ball during her match against Manchester West.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • ConVal’s no. 5 Natalie LaFleur hits a tennis ball during her singles match on Wednesday’s against Manchester West.  Staff photo by Nicholas Handy



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Friday, May 18, 2018

With little left to play for on the season, ConVal girl’s tennis head coach Gloria Morison gave her girls a challenge heading into their final match up on Wednesday: take a risk.

Morison’s strategy would ultimately pay off, as the Cougars would dismantle Manchester West by winning 7-2.

The victory was that much more sweet, as the Cougars had previously lost to the now 6-8 Manchester West team four matches to five on April 30.

“I’ve seen more confidence and risk taking as the season progressed,” said Morison. "All of the girls really wanted to win this one… everyone went out on a high note.”

With a final record of 4-10 on the season, Morison said her team will not make playoffs but there is still hope that her no.1, junior Julia Peters, and no.2, senior Natasha Kipka, will make the state tournament as individuals and doubles based on their records.

“I really want to make states as a doubles team,” said Peters, in between her singles and doubles match at Adams Playground.

Morison said she has submitted Peters and Kipka as singles and a doubles team, as well as her no. 2 doubles team – sophomores Zoe Werth and Catrina Kipka – to participate in the state tournament. As of Thursday afternoon, Morison was unsure who would qualify. 

“It would be the best thing in the world,” said Kipka. 

Wednesday’s matches were a bittersweet moment for Kipka, as she was playing her last regular season matches of her ConVal career.

“I think this team is going to grow a lot [next year,]” said Kipka. “… The communication this season has been great overall. Having good communication is key.”

Morison admitted that one of her biggest challenges for next year will be to find someone to fill Kipka’s spot, both as the no. 2 on the team and as Peters’ doubles partner. 

“[Kipka] is really coachable… she can run a lot of balls down,” said Morison. “She also doesn’t make a lot of errors.”

Morison said it would be great to have Kipka to finish her high school career with a shot at the state tournament, which would be a first for her. 

With only one departing senior, Morison said she is excited to see the improvements that can be made for next season. Morison hopes to get together with the girls this summer to keep the confidence up and the skills building. 

“I’m very encouraged for next year,” said Morison. “It all boils down to confidence.”

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.