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by Becky Kimbrell-Norris
ROLESVILLE — Some young tennis players are getting a chance to play this fall as coach Jeanne Pastorius works to build the Rolesville High School tennis program.
Pastorius was hired to lead the school’s first tennis team, which is filled mostly with players who have never competed before on an organized level.
But despite the inexperience and the growing pains that come with putting together a new team from scratch, Pastorius’ plan is to develop the players and build a solid tennis program at Rolesville’s new school.
“Our outlook is the following: Play, learn, and compete with sportsmanship,” Pastorius said.
“Most of our players are new to the sport, so the primary goal is to have fun while learning a sport that they can play literally all of their lives,” she added.
Pastorius is a USTA 4.0 tennis player in the Raleigh area and played Division II for Siena College. She has coached in New York and North Carolina, most recently at Millbrook High School before taking four years off to catch up on time with family.
At Rolesville High, she will teach Spanish and serve as a department chair.
While Pastorius has experienced a little difficulty in getting some interest in the gir
l’s tennis program, there have been six players participating in summer practices.
“I hope to see about eight girls on the courts, which would be great,” she said.
So far the roster includes Melissa Caceres, Oluchi Chukwunyere, Emily Parker, Morgan Thomas and Nikoro Uzoho, all freshmen.
“I have a few girls who have yet to complete their physical,” Pastorius said.
Having players new to the sport, Pastorius said it is most important that they feel as comfortable as possible while they learn as they go.
“We scheduled some scrimmages because they are a great way to get the nerves out.” she said. “It’s also a chance to be accountable and responsible to scoring, calling balls and just getting the experience for a live competition before it’s official.”
The Rams will play a 14-game schedule, including seven home matches.