Samantha Soltysiak Previews her First Season as Head Coach


Credit to Photo Submitted

Senior Bria Hamilton hits the ball over the net during a match.

By Claire Huss

Samantha Soltysiak is the head coach for girls tennis. This will be her first year coaching the Girls Tennis team.


What are some goals you have for the season?

Some goals I have are just to get girls who have never maybe played tennis before, get them to the level they need to be at to continue to play tennis throughout their high school career. Also for the girls who are seniors and juniors, I want to get them ready for a more competitive game.


Who are some key players to look out for?

I think our number one singles player, Katie Prinkey, is someone to look out for. She has been putting in a lot of work over summer and on weekends. We also have a new player Evelyn Randal, she has never played tennis before but she fits really well with the game and I think the more she plays, the better she will be. She made varsity and I think that is another player we have to look out for.


What are some changes you are hoping to implement this season?

I want to have more communication within the team. I think it has been really relaxed the past few years and I want to make things a little tougher for the girls just to better their game.


Who are some key match ups/opponents you will be playing this season?

Key opponents are always Francis Howell Central, Timberland, and Liberty. These schools are going to be some pretty tough schools to beat but I think my girls will be ready for that.


How has the team been preparing for the season?

We have been practicing 2 hours every day after school. We practice drills and we put ourselves in a tournament over the weekend and we got to see the other schools and how they played some of our players.


What are some traditions on the team?

Senior night is a really big tradition on the team. The girls really look forward to that. Some others are black and gold day and the banquet. We have a player Audrey Dickerherber, and her family is with Grandma’s cookies and always supplies us with them. We are going to miss out on that next year when she leaves us.


Who is your toughest opponent?

Francis Howell Central, Liberty, or Timberland will be our toughest opponents.


What are you looking forward to the most this season?

I am looking forward to seeing the girls grow into their own players and having fun. I am also hoping to see some of my girls do well at GAC’s and continue on at state. I have high hopes for them.


What are some challenges you have had to overcome so far this season?

As a new coach some of the challenges I’ve had would be getting the girls to trust in me and to trust in the process. I think they get use to one coach for all these years and then a new coach comes in and it’s hard to adjust. I think that has been the hardest for myself this season so far.


What is your favorite thing about coaching?

My favorite thing is seeing relationships being built outside of school because I am a teacher and it is nice that the girls get to see that I am more than just a teacher.