Approaching the halfway point of the season, the Shepaug girls tennis team has established itself as one of the best in the Berkshire League and has set itself up for an exciting stretch run.

The Spartans improved to 7-0 with a 6-1 victory over Gilbert last week.

After a solid season in 2017, the Spartans are back a year better and it is showing so far.

“We finished third last year behind Nonnewaug and Litchfield,” Shepaug coach Joanne Kelly said. “With a year of competition under our belt my girls are stronger and more confident this year. We are still a young team but we have some depth this year.”

Shepaug’s singles players are juniors Emma Kassis at No. 1, Abby Gorra at No. 2 and No. 3 Sydell Lecher with sophmore Annika Vikstrom playing at No. 4.

“They have played fantastic tennis the first half of the season and are really starting to hit their stride,” Kelly said.

The Spartans have settled into a doubles line up that is strong and ready to challenge for the top spot according to coach Kelly. Sophomores Rebecca Racz and Taryn Crossley, senior Nadia Racz and sophomore Carlye Gruss fill the top two doubles spots and are improving every match. Third doubles has been a group effort led by sophomore Mahelet Steinmetz, who has seen help from sophomores Erin Bailey and Gabby Amato as well as juniors Maya Missana, Liv Meyer and Brianna Cichowski.

“Our goal is to finish at the top of the BL, have a strong showing at the BL tournament and then see what we can accomplish at the state tournament,” Kelly said. “My girls are very focused and committed to a successful season so I am excited to see what they can do.”