8-24 Issue:Layout 1
All Shore Media Sports Review
Red Bank Catholic: The Team to Beat In Girls Tennis & Dena Tanenbaum is a Big Reason Why! B y C l a y t o n Ta y l o r, D i r e c t o r o f Te n n i s a t T h e A t l a n t i c C l u b
Red Bank Catholic appears to be the team to beat this fall in girls tennis as it won the Class A Central title and reached the semifinals of the Shore Conference Tournament last year and returns plenty of talent. Last season’s top teams, Wall and Holmdel, lost four and six players from their championship teams, respectively, and should again be in the hunt. Leading the way for the Caseys is sophomore Dena Tanenbaum at first singles, one of the top returning players in the state. As a freshman, Tanenbaum went 23-2-1 Dena Tanenbaum and reached the Round of 16 at the NJSIAA Singles Tournament mostly due to her aggressive style of play. Tanenbaum has big ground strokes, and is a threat to hit a winner off any shot from the baseline. Now that she is fitness training at the Parisi Speed School, she should get to even more balls and hit more winners. If you hit a short ball to her you might as well forget about it, as Dena will hit a winner or finish at the net with volleys that have her ranked as one of the top doubles players in the United States Tennis Association’s Middle State Section. She most recently won the New Jersey State Open Singles Championship
and added the State Doubles title in the 16’s & 18’s divisions in the tournament at the Atlantic Club by defeating Manasquan’s standout first singles player, Farrah Smoke, in the singles and doubles finals. RBC will also return second-team All-Conference players Cara McGrath at third singles, who is a pit bull with her consistency at the baseline, and the first doubles team of Leigh Oliver and Meghan Corcoran. They also return half of their second doubles team, which posted a 19-2-1 record last year. Red Bank Catholic will also be loading up on incoming freshmen as Jenna Pelligrino, Emma Giordano and Rocine Moschella will all be challenging for a singles spot. All are highly-ranked USTA state or sectional players. Other top singles players returning in the Shore Conference are Wall’s Lindsey Balsamo, whose big serve and forehand combination earned her Shore Conference Player of the Year honors last season, and Marlboro’s Michella Dassa, who is a speedster on the court who defeated Tanenbaum and Balsamo last year. Smoke also is back for Manasquan, Brooke Verdiglione will lead St. John Vianney and Holmdel’s Karolina Wojciak returns after spending the summer training in Europe.
Volley Like The Professionals! The secret to great technique on the volley is simplicity. Follow the steps below and soon you will be volleying like a pro!
Prepare your racket first and then move your feet. Lining up your racket with the ball early gives a clear gauge as to exactly where you need to move to get in the best position for the shot.
Maintain good posture. Throughout the preparation and hitting phases, keep your shoulders and back relatively straight.
Keep your elbow bent. Never have a straight arm in the p r e p a r a t i o n p h a s e o f t h e v o l l e y.
Hold the racket head above your wrist. A s y o u p r e p a r e f o r t h e v o l l e y, y o u r racket head generally will start well above your wrist with the racket face slightly open.
Keep your elbow out on the forehand. Keep your elbow bent and slightly out in front of your body as you prepare for a f o r e h a n d v o l l e y.
Tu r n y o u r u p p e r b o d y o n t h e backhand. Do not start with your whole body turned sideways.
Facing the ball, rotate your upper body as you prepare, getting a pull in the shoulders for the strength you need in the shot, then step.
Use a compact swing.
Control the racket face before and after you hit. In the preparation phase, attempt to line up the racket face directly behind the flight of the oncoming ball. Then focus on keeping the face of your racket facing the direction of your target after you make contact, and hold this for a split second. This will help to keep your racket face pointed in the right direction throughout the hitting zone as well as minimize the size of your backswing and follow-through
August 24 Isuue 11