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Coach keeps St. Petersburg on right track

By CHRIS GIRANDOLA,
Published May 26, 2005

The whispers around the tennis circles in Pinellas County at the beginning of the season were that St. Petersburg was vulnerable: the defending district champs had lost No. 1 player Shay Wali, who had moved to Orlando, on the boys side and its No. 1 player on the girls side was a freshman.

Turned out to be wishful thinking.

The Green Devils boys and girls pulled off another undefeated season and had all but one of their players win districts, a testament to coach Alan Turnquist's ability to get the most of his players.

The Times boys and girls coach of the year, a former claims adjuster who took over as coach in 2000, has transformed the St. Petersburg program into one of the best in the state.

His top two players, Nick Gallauer and Lindsey Dvorak, advanced to region and lost to the eventual state champion.

Also, both doubles teams made it to the semifinals of states where they lost to the eventual champions as well.

"He's a great motivator," senior captain Mike Brady said. "He knows how to get the most out of his players and his aggressive style makes all of us tougher on the court."

No point in whispering next year. Turnquist returns all but one player from this championship squad.

[Last modified May 26, 2005, 01:18:13]


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