Fall preview: girls tennisHalf full? Or half empty? The answer, we all know, depends on how you look at it. The age-old debate fits this year’s Hastings High School girls tennis team.
By: Chad Richardson, The Hastings Star-Gazette
Half full? Or half empty?
The answer, we all know, depends on how you look at it. The age-old debate fits this year’s Hastings High School girls tennis team.
If you are a half-full kind of person, you’ll want to know that Hastings returns 12 of the 16 players from last year’s team.
If you are a half-empty kind of person, you’ll want to know that the four players Hastings lost from last year’s team took with them all kinds of experience, and a staggering number of wins.
“We lost four of our starters, and three of them had been three-year starters,” coach Craig Raway said. “The one thing with last year, though, was that we carried 16 girls, and 12 of them are coming back.”
How this will all translate to the 2011 version of the Raiders isn’t clear quite yet.
“It’s a little bit of a building year for us, but the girls are very excited,” Raway said. “They’ve put in the work. They’re eager to see where it’s going to take them.”
Last season, Hastings took to the courts with essentially the same team as it had had during the 2009 season. This year things are much more unclear.
“This year, we just want to get better every match and see if we can put some lineups together that will win us some matches,” Raway said.
Captains for the Raiders are seniors Kirsten Peterson, Erika Nielsen and Ashley Addison and junior Morgan Tjomsland.
Peterson is a second-year captain. She played at second singles and first doubles last year and earned all-conference honors. She will play in both the singles and doubles lineup again this year.
Nielsen played at first doubles last year and was all-conference as well. Expect to see her at the top doubles spot again this year.
Addison played at second doubles the last few years. She will move around between first and second doubles this year.
Tjomsland was all-conference last year, too. She has played at singles her varsity career and will be there this year, among the players who are rotating in at the first spot.
Hastings graduated its No. 1 singles player from last year, Lindsey Reinisch, and replacing her won’t be easy. Instead of just choosing one person to play there every match, Raway is opting, at least initially, to fill the spot with a rotation.
“It’s not going to be easy for anyone to step up there to first singles,” Raway said. “We’ll put the burden on a few people’s shoulders instead of sticking someone there every match. We will see a lot of different lineups this year.”
Peterson, Tjomsland and Hailey Lundquist will be in that rotation.
Freshmen Jill Weinzettel and Annika Peterson will also see some singles action this year.
In doubles, Hannah Carlson played at second and third doubles last year and will see time there again. Maddie Carlson, Abbie Williams, Caitlyn Judge and Ashley Helget will also figure in to doubles.
“We’re going to be deep,” Raway said.
Expect to see Cretin-Derham Hall and Mounds View atop the Suburban East Conference standings again this year. Forest Lake will be good, too, and Hastings should figure in a strong group of teams that will include White Bear Lake and Stillwater.
In the section, Rochester Mayo is the strong favorite. The Spartans could also challenge for the state title this year.