By Bill Cross
For The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
As the area high school girls’ tennis teams battle this spring, two things stand out for area coaches.
One, the weather has wreaked havoc on their ability to see their teams on the court and two, the competition will be strong.
Last year’s county tournament and sectional winner Alexandria returns a strong squad but must replace top seed Michelle McFerran. McFerran, now at Bellarmine University, went 71-15 in her career, finishing as a Second Team All-State and First Team All Central Indiana Conference honoree.
Madison-Grant looks to give Alexandria a run for its money in both the county and conference after splitting titles with the Lady Tigers last year. The Lady Argylls lost to Alexandria in the county semi-final but scored revenge later in the year with a conference win and a first-ever CIC title.
Despite losing McFerran, the cupboard is not bare for Coach Matt DeVault. The Lady Tigers will have First Team All-CIC Sarah-Kate Brenner, First Team All-CIC Allie Hueston and honorable mention All-CIC doubles player Abbie Miller back.
Coach Jim Hostetler’s Lady Tribe return six seniors including doubles partners Aspen Christian and Alexa Landaker. Ashley Heruth, Charlotte Condon, Lex Morris and Katie Urbanski. The lineup is not set yet for Anderson, but Christian and Landaker will be the No. 1 doubles team.
Anderson Preparatory Academy
APA enters its third year overall but the first with a full roster. After competing in 2012 with 4 players, Coach Jeff Brunnemer’s 2013 squad features 11 players including Monica Marquez, Starla Niccum, Veronica Marquez, Elizabeth Ruiz, Charmee Baytin, Siouxzanna Keller, Baylee Davidson, Maddy Fadely, Ki’Jana Lewis, Taylor Sparks and Marissa Young.
Coach Max Hoppel’s squad will feature a balance of youth and experience. The Lady Panthers have 24 players on the roster, including 12 who are upperclassmen. Juniors Mackenzi Boston and Madi Runyan return to lead the singles while senior Janene Keyla is back at No. 1 doubles. Freshman Caley Van Buskirk and sophomore Jordyn Wright are the top newcomers.
The Lady Eagles will have experienced leadership, something that should help interim Coach Brett Sanders as he takes over for Ginger Thompson. Alexys Rastetter will the No. 1 singles seed with No. 2 Sydney Wagoner and No. 3 Shelby Cox filling out the singles lineup. Lucy Browning, Madison Jansen, Micaela Walls and Abby Morgan will comprise the doubles teams.
Coach Justin Coomer’s Lady Bulldogs return seven varsity players from last year including Meg Fields, Rachel Thalls, Kaitlin Dobbins, Bailee Scribner, Lexi Allen, Katie Boldman and No. 1 singles player Stephanie Pritchett, although Pritchett will be unable to play due to a knee injury suffered during the basketball season.
Madison-Grant returns four varsity players from last year’s squad that went 17-2 and won 15 straight matches in the process. The Lady Argylls returnees are doubles partners Leslie Hudson and Kristen Mercker, who will take over the No. 1 and No. 2 singles spots respectively. Jenna Crume returns to the No. 3 spot. Becky Lagle, Meagan Hall, Kayla Bair and Clara Vetor will comprise the doubles pairings.
Coach Royce Hammel’s squad returns three varsity players from last season – seniors Lauren Robertson and Megann Kramer along with sophomore Carly Wilson. Hammel is looking to Emma McCardwell, Haley Augsberger, Madilyn Moore and Brandy Stoker to fill out the roster along with Swedish exchange student Lina Larrson, who transferred in this semester.
The Lady Raiders will look to senior Jenna Conyers to be in the No. 1 singles spot and Kassy Pierce the No. 2. McKenna Resler, Courtney Byrer and Logan Phelps are in competition for the final singles spot. Anna Otera and Conli Prichard look to take over at the No. 1 doubles spot. Lara Eichorn, Shelby Lockhart, Ashley Hook and Hanna Sanders will battle for the final doubles spots.