By JOSH RIZZO
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
Jack Nudo prefers a methodical approach. When the junior Quincy Notre Dame boys tennis player looks to land an ace, he picks his spots carefully.
"I spend a lot of time, start slow," Nudo said. "I make sure I know what I'm going to do, pick my spot and go for it."
Nudo hopes his serve, which he's been able to get above 100 miles per hour, will bring him success as the Raiders' No. 1 singles player. Adjusting to playing in the top spot is a challenge Nudo embraces.
"I'm kind of a perfectionist I feel like in tennis," Nudo said. "I'm very competitive, and I like to win."
QND also helps Nudo will bring a steady presence. The Raiders graduated six seniors -- four played in the top six last season -- and had Collin Adams transfer to Quincy High School.
That's left Nudo as this team's leader.
"He's been trying to do a better job of being more consistent. He has a lot of tools," QND coach Monica Hinkamper said. "Movement is a big thing, and Jack is very quick and has good hands. It's just a matter of him working on the confidence to work on the tools that he has and make him more consistent. He has a good serve and is still learning."
Eric Niemann will be the Raiders' lone senior in the top six.
Austin Vogel and Jimmy Case will also be in the mix. Developing a lineup has been a challenge, due to the weather. QND will be a little behind the Blue Devils when the teams meet Tuesday. QHS started its season last weekend and already has several matches under its belt.
Hinkamper doesn't mind not having the lineup set.
"There's going to be a lot of guessing and that's OK," Hinkamper said. "I've always promoted the growth of tennis. It's not about the wins. I'm excited when kids perform well enough to win matches they didn't think they could win. It's all about making players better."
Nudo's been staying in shape and working on things inside. He's ready to get on the court, even if the weather is less than ideal.
"It usually takes me a week or so practicing outside and to get used to the wind," Nudo said. "That's one of the toughest things for me, dealing with that. It neutralizes some of my shots."