Jaguars’ boys’ tennis team set up for another good season


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By Wayne Witkowski

Two doubles players adjusting to their move to singles this season and a returning starter at the other singles spot from last year’s 15-6 team gives Jackson Memorial High School assurance for another solid season.

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The Jaguars are off to a 1-1 start, beating Southern Regional High School in their April 3 opener, 3-2, as senior Federico Coria got match point in second singles, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1. Jackson Memorial lost, 3-2, to Toms River High School South April 5 to go to 1-1 in the Shore Conference A South Division. Southern Regional won the first two singles and first doubles spots.

“Every match will be a storyline for this team, where the matches will be close for everybody except Toms River North, which looks strong again this season, and Central Regional has a good team,” coach Chris Opdyke said.

The Jaguars were scheduled to play Toms River High School North April 18.

Coria and first singles player Zach DeMetro, a junior, were first doubles partners last season. Chris DeMetro, Zach’s brother, is back at third singles.

“Zach keeps the ball in play. He’s a grinder, not someone who will overpower his opponent and will make his opponent hit two or three winners,” Opdyke said. “He has a little bit of a learning curve, making the big jump to singles.

“Federico is typical of a doubles player going to singles — he likes to be at the net. Chris just hustles everything down to keep it in play.”

As for doubles, senior Sam Panitch and freshman Joe Toth play in the No. 1 slot. Twin brothers Mike and Matt Danski, who are juniors, and junior Aveen Ayria are rotating at the second doubles spot.

“They’re all picking up things well. They don’t like to lose,” said Opdyke, who sees his young players steadily improving to perhaps have an impact when the Ocean County Tournament is held May 21 and 22.

Jackson Memorial hosted Brick Township High School April 19 and stays home against Freehold Township High School April 21 before traveling to Barnegat High School April 24.

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