09/21/11 9:22pm

PETER BOODY PHOTO | JV tennis player Keri Ann Mahoney at practice last week.

The 2011 Shelter Island JV girls tennis team is off to a great start with a 5-0 record. In only the team’s second JV season, its players have had wins over Mattituck, new to the league; Riverhead; Shoreham-Wading River; Rocky Point; and Greenport-Southold.

Playing at first singles, team leader Lisa Kaasik is undefeated, continuing her unbeaten streak from last year, giving her a combined 15-0 record.

Moving up to second singles after playing third singles last year, Keri Ann Mahoney has been overpowering her opponents with strong serves and hard groundstrokes. She is undefeated, also.

At third singles is Melissa Ames, who played volleyball the last two years. She is a great addition. With her steady groundstrokes, she has compiled a terrific 4-1 record.

Serina Kaasik, an eighth grader who played soccer last year, is playing fourth singles. She has a 4-1 record, with her only loss coming in a shortened one-set tiebreaker.

The three doubles teams are: Corrine Mahoney and Nicole Poleshuk; Jenny Case and Brianna Kimmelmann, and Jill Calabro and Taylor Sherman.

Corrine and Nicole are playing first doubles and have a 3-2 record. Jenny and Brianna are 5-0 at second doubles and Jill and Taylor are 4-1 at third doubles.

All three teams are also competing with each other in practice to improve their position, so they might change spots before the season is over.

Evi Saunders, a seventh grader, is our 11th player. She has been getting a lot of experience in practice and exhibition matches. By the end of the season, she will be playing in the regular line-up.

Our next match will be against Eastport-South Manor, which is also undefeated.

Keep up the good work!

10/28/10 7:29am

Keri Ann Mahoney returns a ball during a doubles exhibition match on October 14. Her partner, Inga Cordts, stands ready for the next one. TED HILLS PHOTO

The girls JV tennis season came to an end on October 14 after a close loss to Rocky Point on the Indians’ home courts. The girls played hard, battling through long rallies and multiple tiebreakers, but ultimately it was their lack of players that contributed to the Indians’ downfall.

Singles players Lisa Kaasik and Inga Cordts came out on top in their matches, along with doubles team Brianna Kimmelmann and Leila Mulligan, who won in a tiebreaker. Keri Ann Mahoney played a strong game but just barely lost after splitting her sets and coming up short in the tiebreaker, 7-5.

The team has been at a disadvantage from the start in its past four matches; the squad’s missing one player, and since there are only 10 girls on the team, they had to forfeit one court in each of those matches. Last Thursday, that meant a court that would have put the Indians within reach of victory: “If we didn’t have to default a court we probably would have won that match also,” explained Coach Susan Warner.

Looking over the season’s record sheet, there were some impressive statistics. Lisa Kaasik played a perfect season in the first singles slot, winning all 10 of her matches. Second singles Inga Cordts finished with a near-perfect record, winning 9 of the 10. The other two girls on the team with winning records were third singles Keri Ann Mahoney, who won 6 of her 10 matches, and Felicity Williams, who split her time between fourth singles and first doubles and won 5 of her 9 matches.

This was the team’s first year at the high school level after moving up from the junior high program. Six of the girls from last year’s team (which had a winning record of 5-4) came back to play for the JV team this year — two of the girls on the roster, Kaasik and Jill Calabro, played on the joint Southold/Greenport/Shelter Island team last year, and one girl, Felicity Williams, was a newcomer to Indians tennis.

Coach Warner was pleased with the girls’ performance this year. “There are things we can work on but they also progressed a lot through the year.” She added that the doubles team of Kimmelmann and Mulligan in particular improved significantly since the start of the season, and it showed during an October 12 victory over a strong McGann-Mercy doubles team that surprised even Coach Warner.

She may be losing some players next year, she said, so the squad will need a few new recruits. She’d like to have a deeper bench, of at least 11 girls, so she can avoid the player-shortage problems the team witnessed this year.

But judging by the Island girls’ eagerness to swing their racquets, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem finding enthusiastic players — nearly all the girls play exhibition matches after their league matches with the other teams’ extra players, and when those games are done, the girls can be seen playing a game of “keep-it-up” on the lawn or practicing their swing against “the structure,” a concrete tennis wall next to the courts.

Their enthusiasm gives Coach Warner hope for the future of the program: “I think next year will be a good one, I’m looking forward to it.”