Dedication sets up Viera tennis district dreams

Viera sophomore Sunshine Reitz is enjoying her first full season as the Hawks' No. 1 tennis player.

 

The Viera High boys and girls tennis teams are feeling pretty good about their chances of winning district championships this season.

And, why not?

The girls were off to an 11-1 start that included a 5-0 mark against their district opponents. The boys team was 10-1 and also undefeated in district play.

“It’s a pretty strong team all the way down,” Viera boys coach Manuel Rosales said. “If we keep going the way we’re going, we should get to districts and, hopefully, go to state with our top players. My No. 1 is a very good player.”

That would be senior Leo Da Silva, who transferred to Viera this year and possesses one of the best serves Rosales said

he’s seen.

Andy Yans, a junior transfer, is on Viera’s

No. 2 line.

Sophomore Braden Ayers, sophomore Brodie Taylor and senior Louis Schiffer make up the next three spots on the Hawks’ ladder.

Viera’s district opponents include Bayside, Eau Gallie, Gateway, Harmony, Heritage, Melbourne and St. Cloud. The district tournament is scheduled for the end of this month at sites to be determined.

“I think we’re a team to beat,” Rosales said.

If there’s one thing that sets the Viera girls aside from other teams, coach Shelly Rosseau believes it’s their depth.

Top singles players Sunshine Reitz and Lavanya Natarajan are in their first full seasons after last year was cut short by the pandemic.

Junior Teya Hagy, senior Hailey Johns and junior Eva Nastevska take up the next three lines for Viera with Abby Smith, Stevie Taylor, and Caroline Morrison right behind them.

Part of Rosseau’s excitement about her team is that Viera has put in the work throughout the year.

The Hawks took part in a fall league and had enough players to make up two teams.

“This group is pretty dedicated to playing, which is very exciting,” the Viera girls coach said.

Reitz might be young, but she has fared well this season against some of the county’s top players, many of whom are seniors.

“I think she’ll peak at the right time,” Rosseau said of Reitz. “Every school has at least one good player, so Sunshine always has to play that one good player.

“What I especially like to tell our team is that we are deep all the way from one through eight. Three girls aren’t getting to play that could be playing two, three, four or five at any other school. That’s one thing about Viera.”

That kind of talent and dedication is why the Hawks should have a bright future.

“It’s a great group of girls,” Rosseau said. “They put in the time, and they’re definitely going to show improvement.”