Kuhn and Tock having great year
Olivia Kuhn and Nicole Tock etch their names in the annals of Whitehall's girls' tennis program, but fate has brought the duo together for a memorable and surely unforgettable season.
At the end of last week's play, both Kuhn and Tock, the Zephyrs' number three doubles team, had an unblemished 8-0 record and had incurred some obstacles in reaching the peak. It can easily also be considered a remarkable achievement considering this is the first season the duo has played doubles together.
Ironically, they came together as a unit just before the season mainly due to an injury to another player.
"They have had different partners in the past and it is really remarkable what they have been able to do," said Whitehall head coach Meredith Kester. "Both of them worked very hard in the offseason and played in the USTA League."
When junior Hannah Murtaugh was injured in the offseason, Kuhn, a senior who played four doubles last season, was inserted in the lineup to play with Tock.
"She (Kuhn) took on the challenge and has really played well," said Kester. "They communicate well and have really developed a feel for each other on the court. They have experienced a variety of situations this year in which they had to get out in front early and those in which they had to battle until the end.
"It has been a learning experience for both of them, but we're fortunate that they have blended so well together."
Kuhn sees the pair as the perfect match as they have discovered how to strengthen each other's weaknesses and enhance their strong points. It was through the game that they have formed a solid friendship.
"We can really help each other out," said Kuhn, who plans to pursue a degree in psychology next fall at preferably Boston University or the University of Pittsburgh. "We really didn't know each other before we started playing tennis. Once we got involved, we became close friends."
Ironically, Kuhn and Tock hasn't been playing the game too long. Through the help of her grandmother, Kuhn began playing tennis recreationally while in elementary school and decided to try out for the team. Tock has only been playing the game three years when she began playing it in the intramural stage.
"When I started playing the game, I really fell in love with it," Tock said. "After that, I have played (tennis) year around. It really has been great for me. Olivia (Kuhn) and I met during freshman year and we have been good friends since.
"We have a keen sense out there now that we know where both of us and where we will be. When I hit a shot, I know where she (Kuhn) will be and she also knows where I am. It took a little time to develop that, but we have a good chemistry between us. We have been through some tough matches, but we always believe we are going to win. Both of us have become very strong willed and we don't want to let anyone down."
On the surface, it appears they won't be doing that anytime soon.