Western Wayne's boys varsity tennis team closes out a solid season
At the conclusion of the 2017 boys tennis season, Dante Terenzio wasn't even sure there would be a varsity team this spring.
Western Wayne's veteran head coach had just two players committed to the squad, so it was time to get creative.
“I went to my wrestlers,” said Terenzio, who's a two-time Class AA Coach of the Year during the winter season. “And they came through for me. We started practicing indoors back in December and they made a lot of progress.”
So much so, in fact, that the Wildcats exceeded everyone's expectations.
The local lads powered their way to an 8-6 record in Lackawanna League AA action, even qualifying for this year's District Two team tournament.
Sadly, they were eliminated in the first round by perennial powerhouse Scranton Prep, 4-1. Nevertheless, Coach Terenzio was thrilled with the outcome.
“I'm very pleased with how the season went,” he said. “When you consider where we started, finishing over .500 in the league and getting to districts are pretty big accomplishments.
“This is a great group of guys. They work hard and have great chemistry. It was a pleasure coaching them this year.”
Western Wayne received solid leadership from a pair of seniors this spring.
Dominic Corma and Bradley Carey each brought something special to the court in 2018.
Corma is a four-year member of the team and the lone returner from 2017.
Dominic cracked the starting line-up as a sophomore and played two years at first singles. This spring, Corma was moved back to second singles to make room for freshman phenom Lenny Maiocco.
He posted a solid 7-7 record as a senior and earned rave reviews from his mentor.
“Dom did a really nice job for us this year,” Coach Terenzio said. “He worked very hard and did whatever we asked him to help the team.
“Dom has good ground strokes, a solid serve and a big forehand. When he won matches, it was because he overpowered his opponent. He can be pretty intimidating at times.”
Carey is one of the wrestlers who rode to the rescue this spring. Bradley notched 17 wins on the mat in 2017-18 while competing at 138 and 145.
As a first-year member of the tennis team, Carey played at first doubles and helped post four varsity victories. He was promoted to third singles for the final match of the season and showed remarkable progress, losing a close match (4-6, 6-7) to a Prep player whose record was 13-1.
“Bradley is a very coachable kid,” Terenzio said. “He's a hard worker and he really dedicated himself to learning the sport. Bradley has a great attitude and he improved with every match.”
Any discussion about the 2018 season and Western Wayne's future must begin with Maiocco.
One of the most gifted players every to grace the Varden hardcourts, Lenny simply dominated his Lackawanna League competition as a freshman.
Maoicco posted a perfect 14-0 record and, incredibly, didn't drop a single set along the way. He closed things out in electrifying fashion, cruising to a 6-0, 6-0 shutout of Honesdale's Jason Demers in the regular season finale for both teams.
“Lenny has an incredible skill set,” Coach Terenzio said. “A player of his caliber is extremely rare. He competes year-round and is already very polished and experienced.”
Not surprisingly, Maiocco is the top seed in this year's District Two Class AA singles tourney.
Lenny is a well-rounded young man who also excels in the classroom. He's currently ranked second in his class academically.
“His attitude and maturity level are just off the charts,” Coach Terenzio said.
“Lenny is a fantastic kid and there's no limit to what he can do. As talented as he is, he's just scratching the surface of his potential.”
Weather permitting, this year's D2 singles tourney is scheduled to start Tuesday morning.
The 2018 event will take place at Kirby Park in Wilkes Barre. The format consists of three rounds with semifinals and finals slated for Wednesday.
Western Wayne figures to be a major player, with Maiocco leading the way.
“We've set some pretty high goals for him,” Coach Terenzio said. “I'm expecting Lenny to win it all in AA and make a deep run at states.”
The PIAA State Singles Championships begin on Friday, May 25 at the Hershey Racquet Club.