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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

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Nonnewaugs Ellie McDonald dribbles the ball during a game last season. McDonalds nickname is Smellie -- one of many Chief names that exist on the girls soccer team. (Courtesy of Noreen Chung)
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New Girls Tennis Coach Forces Chiefs to Adapt Quickly

The Nonnewaug girls tennis team poses on senior night this year. (Courtesy of Nonnewaug girls tennis/Instagram)

WOODBURY – New coach, new drive and a new need to win.

The girls tennis team has undergone a big change for their team – they have a new coach, Michael Racanelli. For any team, having a new coach can mean a lot of things the kids aren’t used to: new drills, new strategies, new plays.  

Sophomore Katie Savulak says the team gained new inspiration from their new coach.

“We have a lot of drive and motivation to win,” said Savulak. “Last year, we just wanted to have fun and this year we just want to win and improve. We want to be the best team in the league.”

Senior captain Skylar Chung explains some challenges she’s faced with the transition between coaches. 

“It’s definitely a hard adjustment, especially after having the same coach for three years,” Chung says. “It’s a bit of unfortunate timing with it happening senior year, but a new experience is always nice.”

Freshman Ava Hirleman explains her experience with getting accustomed to having a new coach. 

“I feel like it’s hard for everyone to adjust from a new coach, especially the [new] coach. I feel like his coaching methods are different from what the girls are used to,” Hirleman says. “We just play games and challenge matches at practice. It’s helping us get better.”

Senior Maggie Keane shares her love for the experience she’s had in the previous years of playing tennis and her experience now.  

“Adapting to the new coach has been pretty easy, but it’s different from my previous years playing, so I was kind of sad that things had to change last year,” Keane says. “I liked the routine our old coach had, but I feel like we are much more skilled this year and play smarter because of the new coach.” 

Something that all the girls agree on is that they aren’t used to changing their lineup every game. 

“We get moved around a lot in the lineup, especially with double partners. Sometimes we even get [new] partners in between matches,” Savulak says.

This is still an adjustment as players work to build on-court relationships with various partners.

“In every other sport, the starters stay the same, but he likes to switch it up,” says freshman Aubrie Salisbury. “He really likes to switch up the doubles, and it makes it difficult because you want to practice together. If you don’t have chemistry with the person you’re playing with, then you’re not going to play well.” 

About the Contributor
Morgan Willis '27
Morgan Willis '27, Reporter
Morgan Willis is a freshman at Nonnewaug and a first-year reporter for the NHS Chief Advocate. She is a part of Freshman Class Council and the National Art Honor Society. She loves to get involved with lots of aspects of the school. She loves to write about pop culture, sports, and the school community.
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