The Raiders have begun this season with two wins and look poised for another strong run.
“This season has been going pretty well,” said head coach Desiree Hill, in her 20th year with the Raiders. “We have some good upperclassmen and a lot of freshmen that will help us next year. Right now we’re trying to get everything together because we have some juniors who are inexperienced.”
The Raiders have returned senior Monica Behrle, who has been named the Paulding County girls’ tennis player of the year for the past two seasons and has won more than 40 matches in her career. Fellow senior Andrea Villena along with the doubles’ team of Christie Eades and Kirstan Sharp will be major contributors for East Paulding.
“We’re focused on improving our teamwork and it’s been going pretty well,” Behrle said. “Everyone is working hard and I have to be a leader on the team.”
The upperclassmen know that this team’s evolution is a continuing process.
“We’ve lost some key senior players that were in singles’ matches last year and [we] have new doubles’ teams,” Villena said. “We’re getting used to each other and will end up strong by the end of the season.”
East Paulding will receive strong competition from its region opponents, including state semifinalist Allatoona. Hill said the Raiders will have to learn how to rely on their abilities and believe in each other.
“We’re working on improving our tempo because sometimes we can get rattled by how the match is going,” Villena said. “We have to remain calm and keep our confidence because making the state playoffs last season set a high standard for us.”
East Paulding will return to action on Tuesday at North Paulding.