Girls’ tennis season looks bright
The Douglas High girls’ tennis team has only two upperclassmen on its roster, but that doesn’t mean head coach Dee Gosselin is content to talk about the future of the program – which looks very bright, by the way.
The Tigers are young, sure, but they’re talented, too. And they’re not about to concede anything.
“The top two teams (in the Northern Zone) go to state,” Gosselin said Wednesday at the Lampe Park tennis courts. “And we could be one of those teams.”
Sophomore Amber Oglesby returns as the Tigers No. 1 player, the same position she played last year as a freshman. Oglesby has been playing tennis since she was 6 years old and has been playing competitively for four years.
“She’s dedicated to the sport year-round,” Gosselin said. “Her baseline strokes are deep and real flat. And she has a powerful first serve.”
Jessica Albrent is the lone senior on the squad. She returns for her third year on the team and likely will play one of the remaining two singles positions.
Sophomore Bri Niichel is another returning player who will vie for one of the three singles positions.
Sophomore Kristen Garzapena and freshman Samantha Barnes both bring tournament experience to the Douglas High girls’ team.
Gosselin said freshman Angie Bommarito has the most natural footwork she has ever seen, and added that sophomore Andrea Garcia is a natural player who hits the ball hard and has good footwork.
Kori Eisele, the only junior on the team, probably will make one of the three doubles team and is a good all-around player, Gosselin said.
Freshman Katie Eilers is a newcomer to tennis, but she has learned the game quickly and has a promising four-year tennis career ahead of her, according to Gosselin.
Sophomore Michelee Alvarez and freshman Kristin Kvasnicka will also challenge for playing time.
“The ladies who have come out have experience,” Gosselin said. “They all know the game of tennis very well and they help each other out in practice. They’re all really good athletes.”
The Douglas roster includes 12 players, 10 of whom will make the travel squad. Gosselin said she will try to get everyone playing time at home matches.
The coach said the fact that her players have quite a bit of tennis experience means that they were able jump into the more advanced aspects of preseason training.
“The girls have established swings, so we’re really working on shot accuracy, on movement and technique, and the mental game,” Gosselin said. “We can take it beyond the basic stroke.”
Which should be helpful when the Tigers open the season with a home match against Sparks on Tuesday at Lampe Park.
Gosselin expects her team to battle with the best teams in the zone.
“Reno is always such a big gun,” she said. “I think we’ll compete with Galena and McQueen.”
The Tigers finished fourth behind those three teams last season.
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