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  • Val T.

Paulik developed love of tennis as Rochester player, now coaches Lady Zs

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

Adrian Paulik played tennis at Rochester High School and graduated in 2013.

Her love for the game only grew over time, and a decade later, she now coaches the Lady Zs.

She was hired at the Rochester School Board meeting Jan. 23, and she was coaching a match less than three months later.

“I just fell in love with tennis in high school and found a passion for it,” Paulik said. “And even out of high school and through college, I found myself just always wanting to play. I developed a coaching mentality when I went into personal training, and now that I don’t do that anymore, I was given this opportunity, and I went with it, and I couldn’t be more grateful.”

Paulik said players in high school are the age level of kids she wanted to coach.

“I think they’re very coachable, and I have a great group of girls, and I think it’s very fun,” Paulik said.

The team took on a different look under Paulik. Ella McCarter moved from No. 2 singles last year to No. 1 singles, and she is the team’s most experienced player.

“I just have a great group of athletes overall, whether they play tennis or not,” Paulik said. “They’re very coachable. They listen well. They take constructive criticism well. So they just practice great together, which I think is good because I’m not having to split up my team. OK, this group go over here and practice this, and this group go over here because some are way better than others.

“They’re all very equal, and I love that about them.”

Rily Holloway and Rylee Clevenger, both of whom played doubles last year, moved to Nos. 2 and 3 singles, respectively, this year. Holloway and Clevenger’s move mirrors Paulik’s own high school tennis experience. Paulik started out in doubles when she teamed with Caitlyn Patterson and later played singles.

“They’re both capable of relying on themselves, and they’re not ones to really beat themselves up,” Paulik said of Holloway and Clevenger adapting to their new roles. “So I think it takes a good person with a good head on their shoulders to play singles.”

Freshman Olivia Bailey and sophomore Audrey Bolinger were paired together at No. 1 doubles, and Taylor Howard and Elizabeth Weaver were the new No. 2 doubles team.

Both Bailey and Bolinger are newcomers to tennis, but Paulik said it took very little time for them to jell as teammates.

“It did not take long at all,” Paulik said. “I knew almost from the very beginning that they were going to play very well together, which was surprising even to me. Because neither of them had ever played, but I think both their different mentalities – Audrey’s very outgoing and Olivia’s very quiet – brings the best out of both of them. Their communication is outstanding. I love how they communicate on the court and play together as a team.”

On the other hand, Paulik said Howard and Weaver were already close friends.

“I think sometimes that gets in the way, but the more they’re playing together, the more they’re realizing that if we’re in a match, this is tennis, not our friendship, and we can’t beat just beat each other up over silly mistakes, but their communication is getting better,” Paulik said. “I mean, even their skill set is getting better. So overall, I think they’re just a great duo.”

Paulik said she enjoyed the relationship she had with her high school teammates.

“We were very competitive, but we also had that sisterly love too,” Paulik said. “So it was just always a fun time. And that’s what I want for the girls. I want them to be serious but also all get along and all have fun when we’re at practice and when we’re on the buses to matches, and that’s the environment I’m trying to set for them too.”

Paulik works for the Rochester School Corporation as a case coordinator for the special education department. She is the mother of Rayze, age 14 months.



McCarter, Clevenger pull out 3-set wins, lead Rochester girls tennis past Northfield


Holloway wins in straight sets at No. 2 singles


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

The Rochester girls tennis team won all three singles matches to earn a 3-2 win over visiting Northfield at the RHS courts on May 4.

Rily Holloway scored Rochester’s first point with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Gabby Haupert at No. 2 singles. Rylee Clevenger dropped the second set but recovered to beat Kylie Leland 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 at No. 3 singles. Ella McCarter then got the clinching point with a 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-1 win over Elli Baker at No. 1 singles.

“This was a huge win,” Rochester coach Adrian Paulik said. “We went into this match up in the air. We knew they were beatable but still had some talent. We knew we’d have to work really hard to make it happen, and our girls definitely proved that tonight.”

McCarter and Baker were tennis opponents on this night, but they are also travel basketball teammates and good friends.

“I think Ella found the opponent’s weaknesses and really just played off them,” Paulik said. “Her opponent was coming up to the net a lot. Ella had learned to hit it over her and make her run back for it. She was making her move, whereas at the beginning she was just hitting it, and they were just volleying it back and forth quite a bit. But that last set, Ella, she took off with it. She was doing everything perfectly.”

Holloway said keeping the ball in the court was a key to her win.

“I think I was just trying to avoid the common errors I have in most of my matches,” Holloway said. “My serving wasn’t all that great. It was probably one of my worst times serving in a match, but I was just trying to focus on ball placement and really getting topsin on the ball, so that helped.”

Paulik also praised Clevenger for mental game.

“I’m very proud of her,” Paulik said. “She tends to get in her head a lot, and she knows that. They had a short break between the second and third sets, and I told her just act like it’s your first one. … I made her smile, and she went out there, and she played amazing.

“We had practice last night, and she played like I’ve never seen her play before, and she showed that in tonight’s match.”

This marked the first senior night since Paulik became coach, and Holloway, Weaver, LOla Brady and Danielle Borg were honored in post-match ceremonies.

“This group of girls is really close, and we have a lot of fun, and we’re going to miss the seniors a lot,” Paulik said.

Holloway said this match brought out a sense of urgency. A loss would not have made the post-match ceremonies fun.

“She’s had a big impact on us,” Holloway said of Paulik. “I think it’s great to have a female coach. J-Atk (Jesse Atkinson) was good too for my first year, but Adrian, she just understands us girls, and she’s younger too, which helps. And she’s just put a lot into us, which helps.”

RESULTS: ROCHESTER 3, NORTHFIELD 2

Singles

Ella McCarter (RHS) def. Elli Baker (NF), 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-1

Rily Holloway (RHS) def. Gabby Haupert (NF), 6-2, 6-3

Rylee Clevenger (RHS) def. Kylie Leland (NF), 6-2, 1-6, 6-3

Doubles

Eden Hoover-Camryn Kuhn (NF) def. Olivia Bailey-Audrey Bolinger (RHS), 6-1, 6-3

Callie Hoffman-Hannah Wilson (NF) def. Taylor Howard-Elizabeth Weaver (RHS), 7-6 (5), 6-1

JV RESULTS: NORTHFIELD 2, ROCHESTER 1

Singles

Lola Brady (RHS) lost 6-3.

Kaedra Shook (RHS) won 6-1.

Doubles

Danielle Borg-Sophia McCall (RHS) lost 6-4.


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