Weekly Feature



2017-04-19 / Sports

Former section champ returns for senior year with North tennis

by PATRICK J. NAGY Reporter


Harry Wang of Williamsville North puts some power on a one-handed return at first singles during the Spartans’ scrimmage against Sweet Home April 3. Wang, a senior, returns to high school tennis after winning the ECIC and Section VI titles as an eighth-grader. 
Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Harry Wang of Williamsville North puts some power on a one-handed return at first singles during the Spartans’ scrimmage against Sweet Home April 3. Wang, a senior, returns to high school tennis after winning the ECIC and Section VI titles as an eighth-grader. Photo by Jake FrenchPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Harry Wang has not played high school tennis for Williamsville North since he won ECIC and Section VI singles titles and the consolation match at the New York State Championships in 2013 as an eighth-grader.

But after a three-year absence from the team, where he focused on his United States Tennis Association ranking, tournament play and getting his college plans situated — he will play at Lehigh University — Wang is back for his senior year and should be considered one of the favorites to win the section.

North coach Mike Venditti said it is exciting to have a player of Wang’s caliber rejoin the team, not only for the potential of great results, but also for his ability to share some of his knowledge and tips with the team’s other two singles players, eighth-grader Joe Baudo and sophomore Josh Bloom.

“He has been a great asset thus far and the season is only a few weeks old,” Venditti said.

Venditti said Wang’s entire game is filled with strengths.

“He’s quick on the court, his serve has become a weapon, he has a superior forehand, a consistent backhand and is comfortable at the net even though he prefers playing from the baseline,” Venditti said.

Baudo is a first-year varsity player who Venditti said has a very solid all-around game.

“He plays a great deal indoors and has well-above-average strokes in all categories,” Venditti said. “He moves well and knows what type of shot to hit to construct a point already at a young age. He has the potential to be incredibly good.”

Bloom, a four-year varsity player, returns to third singles and should be more comfortable there this year, Venditti said.

“He played in a handful of long/competitive matches last season that should make him a better player this year,” he said. “The strength to his game is consistency and forcing his opponent into unforced errors.”

The Spartans have a ton of experience at first doubles with seniors Max Carrol and Josh Gilbert, who return for the third consecutive year. It is Gilbert’s sixth year and Carrol’s fifth year on the team. Carrol is the team captain.

“Max is very adept at the net while Josh’s strong suit is his ground strokes,” Venditti said. “Both have made it to ECIC for consecutive seasons.”

Competing for second doubles include, but are not limited to, seniors Zach Bloom and Bryan Pyrce, junior Joe Divincenzo and sophomore Vik Vaid.

Venditti also said the team has three left-handed players this season who gives the team a big advantage.

“It’s not common to face a left serve, and most of the big points take place to the AD court, which is typically a strong suit for a left-handed server,” Venditti said. “It can be an added bonus for the team this season.”

North finished 8-2 and finished second place in ECIC I last spring.

Venditti said the team has a chance to be very competitive this season with a nice mix of returning starters and the addition of two very strong singles players.

“We will need our depth at doubles to improve throughout the season with the goal of our second doubles team becoming a consistent positive,” he said. “We will strive to represent the school with the utmost respect and character and always look forward to competing within our division.”

North hosted Lockport Tuesday, but information about the match was unavailable before press time. They host Lancaster at 4 p.m. Friday.

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