Elaina Menichelli has some experienced players to work with as she prepares for her first season as Pittston Area boys tennis head coach.
The singles lineup is likely to be filled by seniors who were all part of the starting team a year ago when the Patriots went 2-9 to finish third out of four teams in the Class 3A Division of the Wyoming Valley Conference.
Jason Homschek, the number-one singles player who won his opening round District 2-4 Class 3A Subregional singles match last spring, is back. After playing doubles as a freshman, this will be his third season in the singles lineup.
Nick Alfano moves up from third to second singles and Mike Mazurkivich is making the transition from doubles to third singles.
Menichelli had five practices with the team before weather closed the school this week. It gave her time to set the bulk of the lineup for the scheduled opener Tuesday at Dallas.
Juniors Nick Hart and Matt Costello will take over as the top doubles team.
“They just joined the team this year, but they’re both pretty good, so I put them at number one,” Menichelli said.
Menichelli said she has three seniors – Matt Hawley, John Romanowski and Seth Gollmer – at similar skill levels so she will go into the season with the plan of rotating them as members of the second doubles team.
The roster includes five more players who are newcomers to the sport and still learning at practice.
Menichelli, a sophomore at Marywood University, is a 2015 Pittston Area graduate. She has coached groups of 10-and-under players at Kingston Indoor Tennis and said she will model coaching a high school program after the way Kim Collins and Amanda (Waskavich) Carmody ran teams while she was a player on the school’s girls team.