New coach to lead Mehlville tennis team

Panthers looking for leadership from Okanovic

Members of the Mehlville High School girls tennis team have demonstrated a desire to grow, says new head coach Jill Wojewuczki.

Members of the Mehlville High School girls’ tennis team have demonstrated a desire to grow, says new head coach Jill Wojewuczki.

By Robert Chalupny

After a down year, the Mehlville Senior High School varsity girls’ tennis team is looking to extract what positives it can and look ahead to the 2013 season.

New head coach Jill Wojewuczki, who was the assistant coach before this season, hopes to lead the Panthers back to their winning ways.

“I am hoping that we can improve on last year, and I have a few returners, so hopefully we can help build their skill and strategy and just develop more as a team,” Wojewuczki told the Call.

One positive Wojewuczki has noticed early on is her players’ desire to grow.

“It’s a good group of girls and I think they will work hard and I think they’re actually excited about improving a little bit,” she said.

One skill set Wojewuczki hopes her players learned from last year is leadership.

“I’m hoping what they learned from some of the seniors last year is a little bit about leadership and hopefully they can utilize that to help some of the younger players that we have.

“Last year, we had predominately juniors and seniors … So we have some younger people that have joined the team, which is great so having some of those returners to help bring them along would be great,” Wojewuczki said.

The Panthers already have their ace — as they have for the past three years — in Sabina Okanovic.

“She (Okanovic) was our No. 1 last year. She’ll be our No. 1 this year. So it will be sad to lose her after this year, but hopefully she’ll have a great senior year,” Wojewuczki said. “I’m looking to her not only to help lead the team, not just in matches, but be a team leader …

“She’s a phenomenal young lady.”

Mehlville also has a talented young freshman who could prove to be a significant contributor in Andrea Luzaic.