Girls’ tennis copes with departure of section champion

Chronicle Staff

When the girls’ varsity tennis team plays their first scrimmage on Tuesday against Beverly Hills High School, they will do so without Hilary Barte ’07.

“It will be interesting to see how we do with Beverly Hills; it will be our first big test,” head coach Chris Simpson said.

With the loss of last year’s leader and number one singles player, the team will have to rely on experience and young talent to fill the void. Simpson isn’t worried.

“We have seniors with experience in Natasha Brown ’07 and Lauren Moy ’07. Caroline Richman ’09 has also done some very good work in the last year. We expect her to be a strong force,” he said.

Brown, who will be replacing Barte as the number one singles player this year, is ready for her new role. Like Simpson, she feels that the team can be just as dominant this year as they have been in the past, even without their star.

“Obviously [Barte] guaranteed a lot of wins, but I think everyone will step up to make up for that,” Brown said. Brown, like the rest of the team, has trained individually this summer in preparation for the team’s first practice together today.

As for the rest of season, Simpson’s goal is to keep everyone healthy during league play to have the best possible chance going into playoffs, where they will encounter their toughest competition, including Peninsula and Corona Del Mar.

“Without Hilary, everyone will need to be at their best,” Richman said.