The Bulldogs, who finished 6-9 last fall, return seven starters, making for a promising season.
Coach David Ryley will miss his 2020 graduates, All-League performer Joanna Galbo, Olivia Lynch and Lila Young. But the squad welcomes back three singles players and four doubles players with experience.
“We have a nice team,” Ryley said this week. “The players work hard and appreciate that we’re out here. A lot of them lost their spring [sports] season, and in the summer there were lots of doubts about this fall season.”
Among the singles players, junior Maura Lane (an All-League selection) and sophomores Isabelle Ray and Farah Jaafar return. For doubles, it’s seniors Kelly Murphy (also All-League) and Alex Moroch and juniors Emma Sandison and Lindsay Darcy.
“We’re looking for leadership from Kelly and Maura,” Ryley said. “I’m also excited to see how our sophomore singles players have improved.”
Ryley is looking at a number of players to fill out the roster, including newcomers Elizabeth Ruffy, Gretta Anderson, Brianna Moleano, Nina Rivers and Tamar Adams.
“At least four of them will be varsity starters,” the coach said. “All of them have improved significantly, working on their own.”
Ryley said that, with a shortened season due to COVID-19 restrictions, half of Beacon’s 10 matches will be against Hendrick Hudson and Lourdes, who have traditionally been formidable opponents. “It may be tough to improve significantly,” he said. “But that’s how you get stronger, by playing good teams. We’ll be stronger than we were last year, and the future looks good.”
Beacon will open the season on Tuesday (Oct. 13), hosting Hendrick Hudson. Its schedule also includes Poughkeepsie, Ketcham and Brewster.
As far as protocols, Ryley says his players are on board. “I’ve been pleased so far,” he said. “They’ve been wearing masks through practice; they all know what’s going on. Right now, every day we get to play is a blessing.”