Girls tennis team opens with win
A new-look Douglas High girls tennis team continued its winning ways on Thursday, but had to survive a close call to edge McQueen 10-8 in the Northern 4A conference season opener for both teams in Minden.
Douglas (1-0), undefeated en route to the 2015 conference regular season and region tournament championships, prevailed in four of six sets in the opening round against McQueen and held on the rest of the way to extend its regular season win streak to 11 matches over two seasons.
Keep in mind that this is a new season, however, since the Tigers lost 12 players to graduation and three-time region singles tournament runner-up Madelyn Landerfelt decided not to turn out for the team in order to concentrate on tournament play in California during her senior year. The Tigers have a mix of experience that ranges from three returning starters to seven who are just starting out as competitive players.
“We have a good core,” noted Dan Hannah, who is back for his third season as the program’s head coach. “The main goal this year is to mold them into a competitive force. (We’ll know) More when we see what the rest of the league is like.”
Among the Tigers’ returnees is senior Kylie Coziahr, who won her opening round set 7-6 (7-4 on the tie-breaker) against McQueen senior Clara Buck. Coziahr followed with back-to-back 6-0 wins to finish unbeaten on Thursday.
Douglas took a 4-2 lead after one round as returning juniors Kari Coziahr and Shelby Casaus won their singles sets by respective scores of 6-3 and 6-1 and the doubles team of Natalie Smith-Angelina Stein picked up a closely-contested 7-5 win. Smith, a senior, and Stein, a sophomore, won two of their three sets on the day.
The Tigers’ doubles team of Kelsey Carlson-Nikki Alexander dropped their opening round set 6-2 at the hands of sisters Ireland Earl and Kalisse Earl, who were seeded sixth at last year’s region tournament. Carlson, a returning junior, and Alexander, a transfer student from Indiana, earned a key 6-2 victory in their third-round set to help Douglas close out its win.
Hannah credited assistant coach JoJo Townsell as being instrumental as far as “assisting the singles players in their successful outing.”
Maggie Rich is back for her fourth season with the program — she went 21-6 in 2015 and 16-8 in 2014 — but was sidelined on Thursday. Kylie Coziahr and Rich are the team’s co-captains this season.
Hannah pointed out that the team’s third doubles slot was occupied by a rotating series of players who are just starting out with the sport, including Lauren Wilsey, Jessica Ochoa, Jade Moore, Jocleyn Smith and Angelica Canas.
The Tigers travel to Reno Tuesday for a match against North Valleys.