Tennis | Season preview

A shot at an elite group

 

Roy Lederman of Pine Crest aims to be the seventh boy in Florida high school history to win three individual singles titles.

Key dates

Monday: Regular season begins.

April 1-5: Districts.

April 9 and 11: Regional matches.

April 15-17: Class 3A finals, Altamonte Springs.

April 15-17: Class 1A finals, Casselberry & Sanford.

April 17-19: Class 2A finals, Casselberry & Sanford.

April 17-19: Class 4A finals, Altamonte Springs.

Boys’ 2012 state champs

Team

Class 4A: Cypress Bay; Class 3A: Barron Collier (Naples); Class 2A: Pine Crest; Class 1A: St. Andrew’s (Boca Raton).

Singles

Class 4A: Sebastian Beltrame, Olympia, (Orlando); Class 3A: Brett Clark, Barron Collier (Naples); Class 2A: Roy Lederman, Pine Crest; Class 1A: Jake Albo, Sagemont.

Doubles

Class 4A: Peter San Pedro/Cooper Vissers Dr. Phillips (Orlando); Class 3A: Arnav Mohanty/Arsav Mohanty, Lakewood Ranch; Class 2A: James Flynn/Kenneth Sabacinski, American Heritage; Class 1A: Jake Albo/Emilio Escobar, Sagemont.

Past Broward champs

Cypress Bay: 2008, 2012

Pine Crest: 2012

Sagemont: 2011

St. Thomas Aquinas: 1989, 1994, 2009

American Heritage: 2000, 2003, 2007

Cardinal Gibbons: 1980, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002

Plantation: 1993, 1994, 1995

Cooper City: 1988

Hollywood Hills: 1971, 1976

Fort Lauderdale: 1945, 1946, 1947, 1950, 1969

Top returning players

Jake Albo, Sagemont, Sr.

Camillo Escobar, Sagemont, Jr.

Roy Lederman, Pine Crest, Sr.

Josh Schneirov, Pine Crest, Sr.

Ryan Smith, Cypress Bay, Sr.

Gianlucca Massa, Cypress Bay, Jr.

Michael Plutt, Cypress Bay, So.

Daniel Torres, St. Thomas Aquinas, Sr.

Lucas Mendelson, West Broward, Sr.

Others to watch

Elliot Garwood, Western, Sr ; Christopher Morin, Cypress Bay, So.; Zach Ebenseld, American Heritage, Fr.; Kevin Guo, Taravella, Sr.; Cody Flanzer, Douglas, Jr.; Esteban Recht, St. Thomas Aquinas, Sr.; Brandon Rodriguez, Pembroke Pines Charter, Sr.

Outlooks

Class 4A (boys)

1. Cypress Bay. Coach Vince Grossi, 11th year at CB, 17th overall, 160-34. Last year: state champion. Top players: Ryan Smith, Sr.; Gianlucca Massa, Jr.; Christopher Morin, So.; Scott Plutt, So.; Carlos Moreno, So.; Michael Plutt, So.

2. St. Thomas Aquinas. Coach Carol DeOpsomer, 2nd year. Last year: regional finalist. Top players: Daniel Torres, Sr.; Esteban Recht, Sr.; Diego Recht, So.; Roberto Guerrero, Jr.; Gabriel Gutierrez, Fr.

3. Western. Coach Karen Delfosse, 7th year. Last year: regional finalist. Top players: Elliot Garwood, Sr.; Kurtland Longa, Sr.; Jorge Exposito, Sr.; Tino Kankkunen; Jared Wiseman, Sr.

4. Douglas. Coach Robert Bryant, 4th year at Douglas, 16th overall. Last year: regionals semifinalist. Top players: Cody Flanzer, Jr.; Skye Catena, Sr.; Greg Sovie, Jr.; Andrew Ionescu, Jr.; Aaron Jablon, Jr.

5. West Broward. Coach Jeffrey Buttell, 3rd year at WB, 5th overall, 25-15. Last year: regional semifinalist. Top players: Lucas Mendelson, Sr.; Zachary Lane, So.; Andrew Benedit, Sr.; R.J. Jhaven, Jr.; Ivo Caminata, Fr.

6. Coral Springs. Last year: regional semifinalist.

7. Taravella. Coach Dawn Hall, 12th year, 101-47-1. Last year: 11-4. Top players: Yan Gapeev, So.; Kevin Guo, Sr.; Ryan Moed, Jr.; Brian Kaam, So.; Alex Restrepo, Jr.

8. Deerfield Beach. Coach Rob Snow, 14th year. Last year: 6-6. Top players: Avery Harrison, Sr.; Trevor Youshak, Sr.; Max Schoeheit, So.; Yasha Soni, Jr.; Ian Levinson, Jr.

9. Miramar. Coach Mike Smith. Last year: 2-12. Top players: Stephen Matthew, Jr.; George Matthew, Jr.; Maheer Ahmed, Jr.; Joel Green, Jr.; Estiven Vega, Fr.

10. Monarch. Coach Greg Kennedy, 5th year at Monarch, 16th overall. Last year: 1-10. Top players: Kyle Henrique, Fr.; Felipe Henrique, Fr.; Manny Dias, Sr.; Nick Albanas, So.; Tyler Kruger, Fr.

11. Cooper City. Coach Sherry Cardona, 7th year. Top players: Nate Promkul, Sr.; Vincent Ong, Sr.; Adam Markovich, Sr.; Jose Enriquez, Sr.

Class 3A

1. Pembroke Pines Charter. Coach Nestor Briceno, 6th year. Last year: 8-3 (district finalist). Top players: Brandon Rodriguez, Sr.; Kijon Anderson-Brown, Sr.; Sebastian Jimenez, Jr.; Alex Martinek, Fr.

Xx

2. Fort Lauderdale. Coach Mike Alfier, 4th year. Last year: 3-6. Top players: Oscar Mateo-Fonseca, Jr.; Dylan McDonald, Sr.; Thomas Crimm, Sr.; Jack Edmondson, Jr.; Michael Schreiber, So.

Class 2A

1. Pine Crest. Coaches Farhan Malik, 6th year, 50-5. Last year: 10-0 (state champion). Top players: Roy Lederman, Sr.; Josh Schneirov, Sr.; Elliot Seckler, Fr.; Ned Shashoua, Jr.; Sam Dern, Fr.

2. American Heritage. Coach Tobias Croke, 11th year. Last year: regional finalist. Top players: Zach Ebenseld, Fr.; German Ayubi, Jr.; Juan Jaramillo, So.; Zack Roberts, Sr.; Romare Gonzalez, 8th.

3. Somerset. Last year: regional semifinalist.

4. North Broward Prep. Coach Jaro Pivarci, 6th year. Last year: 6-4. Top players: Spencer Kallor, So.; Phillipe Treacy, So.; Guliano Rengifo, Fr.; Rodrigo Nogueras, So.; Alex Gomez, Fr.; Kevin Shen, Fr.

5. Archbishop McCarthy. Coach Marianne VonFeldt, 9th year. Last year: 7-7. Top players: Dimitri Salzmann, So.; Andrew Puglisi, Fr.; Chris Wheeler-Sabatino, Jr.; Bruno Dedeschi, Sr.; Walter Paniagua, Jr.

6. Cardinal Gibbons. Coach Charles Bolender, 3rd year. Top players: Dominique Northecide, Jr.; Miguel Mendoza, Jr.; Chris Ernewien, So.; James Wich, Fr.

Class 1A

1. Sagemont. Coach Steven Browne, 4th year. Last year: 8-2 (regional finalist). Top players: Jake Albo, Sr.; Camillo Escobar, Jr.; Asdrubal Marcano, Jr.; Andrew Quiros, So.; Austin Debruyne, So.

Girls’ 2012 state champs

Team

Class 4A: Dr. Krop (Miami); Class 3A: Barron Collier (Naples); Class 2A: Bolles (Jacksonville); Class 1A: Ransom Everglades (Miami).

Singles

Class 4A: Joulia Likhanskaia, Winter Park; Class 3A: Nikki Kallenberg, Naples; Class 2A: Maci Epstein, Lake Highland Prep; Class 1A: Rasheeda McAdoo, American Heritage Boca/Delray.

Doubles

Class 4A: Blair Martin/Gabrielle Rodriguez, Tampa Plant; Class 3A: Cami Berry/Ashley Bongart, Lakewood Ranch; Class 2A: Rachael James-Baker/Ana Silina, American Heritage; Class 1A: Mia Horvit/Rasheeda McAdoo, American Heritage Boca/Delray.

Past Broward champs

American Heritage: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

St. Thomas Aquinas: 1972, 1985, 1986, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008

Cardinal Gibbons: 1973, 1977, 1978, 1990, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003

Pine Crest: 1981

Fort Lauderdale: 1956, 1969

South Broward: 1957, 1958

Top returning players

Gabrielle Castaneda, Everglades, Jr.

Emily Groeneveld, Calvary Christian, Sr.

Barrie Eisenberg, Cypress Bay, Sr.

Natalie Amortegui, Cypress Bay, Jr.

Jaclyn Rock, Fort Lauderdale, Sr.

Kendra Bunch, Monarch, Jr.

Kellen Abbanat, Douglas, So.

Antonella Santeusanio, St. Thomas Aquinas, Jr.

Others to watch

Dominique Henry, Monarch, Sr.; Kaely Malik, Pine Crest, So.; Jennifer Moores, Fort Lauderdale, Sr.; Samantha Gonzalo, Everglades, Jr.; Shelby Groeneveld, Calvary Christian, Fr.; Kelly Hewitt, Sagemont, Fr.; Chiara Goodman, American Heritage, Jr.; Adrianne D’Alewyn, American Heritage, Jr.; Nia Bryant, St. Thomas Aquinas, Sr.; Taylor Rose, St. Thomas Aquinas, So.;

Outlooks

Class 4A (Girls)

1. St. Thomas Aquinas. Coach Carol DeOpsomer, 2nd year. Last year: regional finalist. Top players: Taylor Rose, So.; Victoria Vazquez, Jr.; Antonella Santeusanio, Jr.; Nia Bryant, Sr.; Gaby Lobban, Sr.

2. Douglas. Coach Robert Bryant, 4th year at Douglas, 16th overall. Last year: 9-4 (regional semifinalist). Top players: Kellen Abbanat, So.; Kaela Bynoe, So.; Kasia Kasperski, Jr.; Seasia Catena, So.; Marissa Goldstein, So.

3. Cypress Bay. Coach Marina Andreoni-Stewart, 9th year, 81-19. Last year: 8-4 (sixth at state). Top players: Barrie Eisenberg, Sr.; Natalie Amortegui, Jr.; Pierina Imparato, Fr.; Shene, Fr.; Michelle Eisenberg, Fr.

4. Monarch. Coach Greg Kennedy, 5th year at Monarch, 16th overall. Last year: 10-1 (regional semifinalist). Top players: Kendra Bunch, Jr.; Dominique Henry, Sr.; Giovanna DeAlmeida, Sr.; Jennifer Nguyen, Jr.; Tiffany McCallum, Sr.

5. Flanagan. Last year: regional finalist.

6. Everglades. Last year: regional semifinalist.

7. West Broward. Coach Jeffrey Buttell, 3rd year at WB, 5th overall, 14-7. Last year: 7-4. Top players: Sophia Pelaez, Fr.; Rachel Custer, Jr.; Jennifer Wisniewski, Jr.; Maria Machado, Jr.; Emily Leyva, Jr.

8. Taravella. Coach Dawn Hall, 12th year, 86-60. Last year: 9-6. Top players: Alicia Kohler, Sr.; Maria Giraldo, Sr.; Melissa Ramirez-Alvarez, So.; Melanie Martinez, Jr.; Maria Rebaza, So.

9. Deerfield Beach. Coach Rob Snow, 15th year. Last year: 5-7. Top players: Vika Chursina, Jr.; Erica Sullivan, Jr.; Meghan Ta, Fr.; Diana Martin, Jr.; Varuna Rampersad-Singh, Jr.

10. Western. Coach Karen Delfosse, 7th year. Last year: 4-5. Top players: Evan Lake, Jr.; Angela Cleri, Jr.; Gaby Mello, Sr.; Valentina Brave, Sr.; Laura Blumfeld, Sr.

11. Miramar. Coach Mike Smith. Last year: 2-12. Top players: Chitra Gotluru, Jr.; Adriana Bendeck, Sr.; Elizabeth Matthew, Fr.; Alicia Adams, Jr.; Tiara Reid, Fr.

12. Cooper City. Coach Sherry Cardona, 7th year. Top players: Amanda Yellen, Sr.; Gabby Mayer, Sr.; Haley Fiers, Jr.; Rachel Sharpe, Sr.; Erika Martinez, Jr.

Class 3A

1. Fort Lauderdale. Coach Mike Alfier, 4th year. Last year: 6-3 (regional semifinalist). Top players: Jaclyn Rock, Sr.; Jennifer Moores, Sr.; Laura Romero, So.; Juliette Gomez-Diaz, So.; Dalia Dagher, Sr.

2. Pembroke Pines Charter. Coach Nestor Briceno, 6th year. Last year: Regional semifinalist. Top players: Karly Cash, So.; Aileen Alonso, Sr.; Michelle Vaca, Fr.

Class 2A

1. American Heritage. Coach Tobias Croke, 11th year. Last year: Third at state. Top players: Chiara Goodman, Jr.; Adrianne D’Alewyn, Jr.; Juanita Cediel, So.; Susana Chinchilla, So.; Isabella Chinchilla, 8th.

2. Pine Crest. Coach Brett Kurtz, 6th year, 45-15. Last year: 8-1. Top players: Stephanie Taylor, 8th; Katarina Stevanovich, So.; Ines de Bracamonte, So.;

Kaely Malik, So.

3. Archbishop McCarthy. Coach Marianne VonFeldt, 9th year. Last year: 8-6. Top players: Kelsey Berman, So.; Raquel Gil, So.; Antonella Castillo, So.; Jaycie Celli, Fr.; Ariana Tejero, Sr.

4. North Broward Prep. Coach Bojana Miladinovic, 6th year. Last year: 6-4. Top players: Brittany Goldman, So.; Taylor McHarg, So.; Simona Babb, So.; Maria Cardenas, So.; Michelle Nudel, Fr.; Randi Petregnani, Fr.

5. Cardinal Gibbons. Coach Charles Bolender, 3rd year. Last year: Regional finalist. Top players: Carly Landi, So.; Rachel Abbot, Sr.; Courtney Watkins, So.; Mary Pat Norton, Sr.; Rachel Cumming, Jr.

Class 1A

1. Sagemont. Coach Steven Browne, 4th year. Last year: 4-6 (regional semifinalist). Top players: Anastasia Koveshnikova, Sr.; Genesis Palmero, Jr.; Isabella Lowrey, Jr.; Alina Leontarakis, Fr.; Kelly Hewitt, Fr.

2. Calvary Christian. Coach Lisa Pitts, 2nd year. Last year: 7-3 (Regional semifinalist). Top players: Emily Groeneveld, Sr.; Shelby Groeneveld, Fr.; Caitlyn Kahn, 7th.


Special to The Miami Herald

Pine Crest senior Roy Lederman, a two-time state champion and a Stanford commit, will try to become just the seventh boys’ player in Florida high school history to win three individual singles titles.

But he wouldn’t have had a shot at the record books this year were it not for helpful advice from an assistant coach during last season’s Class 2A overall singles final.

Down a set, Lederman rallied against American Heritage’s Kenneth Sabacinski in a three-set victory.

“Kenny was playing really well, and I came out really slow and sluggish,” Lederman said. “I was mentally out of it. Coach [Brett Kurtz] was watching from outside and said, ‘Win or lose, have a game plan to execute and just follow. Don’t care about the result, but point for point.’

“It would be a bittersweet end to the season to lose. I had confidence and was hitting all my shots.”

When the Pine Crest boys’ tennis team captured the Class 2A state title in April, it became the first program in school history to do so.

Coach Farhan Malik looks back on his team’s run, pointing to a third-place finish at a tournament in Kentucky as the defining moment.

As a warmup for state, the guys learned their weaknesses, creating a “better version” of them for the final in Casselberry.

“It’s helped to have them understand the struggle for a few years — that these guys worked hard to earn their spot and put themselves in that situation and stay healthy enough to bring out the very best,” Malik said.

“Last year, everyone was plugged in, and they did their part to the best of their abilities. That doesn’t happen for one season unless you have superstars. It takes a while to get there.”

Lederman is just one of several top returning tennis players in Broward County looking to add to the trophy case.

His best friend, Cypress Bay’s Ryan Smith, enters his senior year one feat short of the high school trifecta: an individual overall state singles championship.

While the Lightning won the Class 4A team title last season — its second since 2008 — Smith lost in both the singles and doubles finals. As a freshman, he and Luis Elizondo took first in doubles.

“I definitely want to do that because it’s my last year and I could’ve done a little better,” said Smith, who is committed to Vanderbilt. “There’s always goals to improve on.

“That’s the one thing I haven’t achieved yet. That’s the last thing I need.”

The entire state-winning Cypress Bay roster came back. It also added freshman Andrew Heller and sophomore Christopher Morin. Coach Vince Grossi calls it a “nice problem to have.”

“Our team has gotten tremendously stronger,” Grossi said. “Going back-to-back would keep us on that road of making a run here and establishing ourselves as one of the elite programs not only in the state but the country. South Florida’s talent itself is one of the best in the country.”

In Class 1A, Sagemont welcomes back senior Jake Albo, who won both the singles and doubles championships last year. He also took the doubles title in 2011 with Zachary McCourt.

It marked the second year in a row a Mountain Lion had swept both divisions at state (McCourt in 2011).

On the girls’ side, Everglades junior Gabrielle Castaneda finished as the runner-up in the singles and doubles finals last season and will look to reverse her fortune.

Read more Broward High Schools stories from the Miami Herald

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