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RAF LAKENHEATH — The tennis teams from Alconbury and Lakenheath high schools kicked off their season this past weekend with a three- game mini-tournament that included one of Europe’s top female players, from SHAPE High School.

Both Lady Lancers’ and Lady Dragons’ No. 1 players fell to Krista Citkovsha, but they are eager to continue with a season full of promise.

Sophomore Molly Martin is part of a young lineup for Lakenheath High School that includes recent transfer freshman Cavan Cohoes as the No. 1 boys single.

Martin said she’s adjusting to the pressure of playing No. 1.

“There is a little bit of pressure, but it’s still a learning season for me, because I’m just a sophomore,” she said.

Michelle Sullivan and Julia Novak together with Danny Burroughs and Cameron Gill make up the No. 1 doubles girls and boys for the Lakenheath squad, which has more than 50 players total.

Head coach Darrell Brock acknowledges his squad is young, but it has enough talent to compete in the post season.

“We’ve got some tough players who don’t quit,” Brock said. “They might have a chance at getting some places at Europeans.”

For Alconbury, first-year coach Ron Behr inherits a team with more experienced players in senior Byron Washington and junior Ellyn Edwards.

Edwards said she’s focusing on “getting control of the point” this season.

“I want to hit the ball deeper, and work on my corner points,” she said.

Seniors Justin Goss and Lyndon Bacon compete at boys doubles No. 1 while junior Caitlin Cloum and freshman Sara Reynolds vie at No. 1 doubles on the girls side.

“Hopefully their senior experience can carry them through,” Behr said of Bacon and Goss.

Behr said he’s working to shape a more competitive mindset with the Dragons.

“We want to get that in their minds, that you can beat anybody on any day,” he said.

On Saturday, Lakenheath boys topped SHAPE 7-2 while the Lady Lancers fell 4-5. The Dragons fell to Lakenheath 8-1 on the boys side and 6-3 for the girls.

Lakenheath travels to AFNorth for another three-team affair with Bitburg this coming weekend while Alconbury plays at Baumholder.

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