What do you get when blending a nucleus of experienced veterans and young players together?
Douglas High School girls tennis team coach Susan Cowan is optimistic that recipe is going to produce some big dividends in a season that begins Tuesday when the Tigers host Hug.
“We have a lot of the kids who have played quite a bit,” Cowan said. “I think we’re going to have a very good team.”
Start with a senior group that includes Kelly Sonnemann, Bryana McNamara and Katelin Teigen, who are entering their fourth year with the program. Courtney McKimmey, another senior, and junior Ingrid Carlson are in their third year to provide leadership for a team that includes five seniors, one junior, five sophomores and two freshmen.
This is a program that has a tradition of success, including a run of four straight regional singles champions — three by Amelia Ritger (2007-08 and ‘10) and one by Kari TenBroeck (2009). Even though TenBroeck ended her successful career last fall by advancing to the regional finals for the third time, yet another talented player is ready to step into that No. 1 singles slot — freshman Madelyn Landerfelt.
“She’s been playing since she was 9 years old — she plays competitively in California a lot — so I expect great things from her,” Cowan said of Landerfelt.
As for those returning veterans, Douglas returns its top two doubles teams from last year.
Sonnemann and Carlson were second-team all-region selections during a 2012 season in which they were the No. 2 seeded team from the Sierra League and then advanced to the regional tournament semifinals before settling for fourth-place.
McNamara and Teigen also won their opening round regional match and earned honorable mention all-region recognition.
Cowan indicated she and assistant coach Ginny Unger are still in the process of trying to work out their lineup.
“We haven’t set them yet,” Cowan said. “We may be mixing them up trying some different arrangements.
Maggie Rich, another freshman, could end up earning one of the singles spots.
“She’s also been playing for a number of years so we might try her at No. 3,” Cowan said.