NUTLEY, NJ — Valerie Martin is extremely excited.
In an interview with The Nutley Journal, Martin said this season appears to be the best of her 14 years as the head coach of the Nutley High School girls tennis team.
The program has a whopping 23 players who have shown much promise and talent. Eight are on the varsity team and the rest are on the junior varsity team, which under head coach Joseph Martin, Valerie’s son.
Nutley is coming off a great season in 2020 as it finished second to Bloomfield in the Super Essex Conference-Independence Division. Nutley only had two losses on the year, both to Bloomfield.
Valerie Martin has high hopes for her singles lineup.
“I have a nice singles, competitive lineup,” said Martin,who also is the Nutley boys tennis coach in the spring. “They all have different styles, but I’m really happy with my singles players.”
Rebeccca Caporaso enjoyed a great season as a freshman at the No. 1 singles position last year. This year she is back at the same position.
Alexis Fontalli, a freshman, occupies the second singles position and shows a lot of promise, said Martin.
Mallory Albanese, a sophomore, has moved up to the third singles spot after playing with Julia Hroncich at the first doubles position last season.
Hroncich, a senior, will team with freshman Sindi Gjonbocari at first doubles. Gjonbocari has impressed Martin with her athleticism and gritty play.
The second doubles position will comprise of a rotation of seniors Jill Juat and Tatiana Freckleton and junior Maria Mathew, who all gained experience last season.
With so much young, promising talent and interest in the program, Martin is looking forward to the season.
“It looks pretty promising,” she said. “I’m really psyched about the future.”
Martin’s other son, Jeff Martin, is an assistant coach for the Nutley football team and is the new head boys tennis coach at West Essex.
Nutley has moved up to the SEC-Colonial Division which also includes Cedar Grove, Irvington, Bloomfield and Belleville.
Nutley was scheduled to open the season Sept. 3 at home at DeMuro Courts against Cedar Grove.
Here is the rest of the schedule:
Sept. 8: away vs. Irvington
Sept. 10: home vs. Belleville
Sept. 13: away vs. Mount St. Dominic
Sept. 14: home vs. East Orange Campus
Sept. 15: home vs. Bloomfield
Sept. 20: away vs. Cedar Grove
Sept. 22: home vs. Caldwell
Sept. 23: away vs. West Orange
Sept. 24: home vs. Irvington
Sept. 27: away vs. Belleville
Sept. 29: away vs. Shabazz
Oct. 1: away vs. Bloomfield
All matches are at 4 p.m. Home matches are held at DeMuro Park.