Sanford’s Brian Shaw returns a shot at practice Friday afternoon.

Sanford’s Brian Shaw returns a shot at practice Friday afternoon.

SANFORD — After a disappointing 2015 campaign, the Sanford tennis teams hope to make a splash in 2016 and impress the competition.

Although the Spartans are coming off of 0-12 seasons, returning players along with new faces will help Sanford right the ship.

The boys coach Brad Chiasson believes that his team’s maturation will be key in its improvement.

“Our top five players are returning from last year so that will be good. Last year many of them had never played before. We have a few guys coming back so that should bode well for us. We also have an older team, a lot more seniors, a lot more juniors. I look forward to it … things can really only go up from last year.”

Not only does Chiasson feel his team will be more developed in their play, but he also expects his team’s experience from 2015 to help as well.

“Experience and maturation will be the key, last year we had a lot of guys that had not played varsity tennis so to have them experience it will help.”

A tactic Chiasson hopes his team will use is aggression on the court. Chiasson believes putting pressure on the opposition this season will be critical .

“We just need to be more aggressive every game. I think we just need to take the game to them … we need to play our game and let them make the mistakes,” said Chiasson.

Perhaps the Spartan’s biggest asset will be effort, a trait that Chiasson believes can help push his team over the top.

“Just keep hustling … that’s the thing about our team is that we never give up and we never stop trying. We just need to keep that attitude up and play every point like it’s the only one and keep going for it,” said Chiasson

On the flip side, the girls also hope to see improvements from last season.

To start, the Spartans bring in first year coach Lisa Velandry to help lead the way.

Velandry has enjoyed her time so far in the spring, and is proud of her team’s effort and positive attitude early on.

“They are just so wonderful, they have such positive energy as a team, they didn’t even want to leave (practice) today. I just can’t say enough good things about them, they’re a great group of girls that are ready to work hard and learn. There’s a lot of positive energy.”

Velandry expects her team to surprise fans this season.

“The girls are young and learning, but they have such great attitudes … and in high school sports you never know what will happen so I’m excited to see what we can do.”

— Sports Staff Writer Alex Sponseller can be reached at [email protected] or at 282-1535 ext. 323. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.

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