WHS girls tennis returns lots of experience

The tennis team starts the WHS fall sports season with a lot of both players and experience.

The girls tennis team has 18 members, 14 returning from last season.

Head coach Brendan Praeger said he has high expectations for this season because so much of the team has previous experience, which wasn’t the case in his first four years as coach. Nine of the current players got varsity matches last season.

Singles players Autymn Schreiner and Lily Ogden had lots of success in the past. Schreiner won several meets and came within a match of qualifying for state last year. Ogden has played varsity matches for three years, allowing her to become very competitive. Praeger said he expects the two to push each other to become even better players.

The current varsity teams for doubles include Kendyl Bolinder and Raegan Feyh along with Kaytlyn Meseke and Mayah Mumpower. Bolinder and Feyh have played together for two seasons and have developed good teamwork. Meseke and Mumpower had both played singles last season but are now working together in doubles matches.

DSC_1520Coach Brendan Praeger watches practice at the Alma tennis courts. This is Praeger’s fifth year as WHS head coach. Photos by Emma Frey.

Other players will challenge for varsity positions. Abby and Hannah Ratts will play both doubles and singles. “They have lots of energy and work hard,” Praeger said. “They are really competitive if I can keep them from arguing with each other.” Shelby Wright and Natalie Moser are also likely to have varsity time, as both are entering their fourth seasons.

New players include freshman Danielle Murphy, sophomore Sarah Vanstory, junior Brianna DeVader and senior Morgan DeVader. Praeger said he likes having underclassmen join because it allows for more development as players.

The team begins competition 3 p.m. Thursday at Wamego against Wamego, Topeka, Sabetha, and Atchison. “Sabetha will be at our regionals and Wamego and Topeka will be at multiple meets in the future,” Praeger said. It’s great to see how we stack up against other teams early in the season.

— Brendan Dugger, Austin Henderson, @whscharger

2019 Tennis Schedule

8.29 Wamego, Varsity, 3 p.m. 

9.4 Emporia, JV, 3:30 p.m.

9.5 Clay Center, Varsity, 3 p.m. 

9.7 Seaman, Varsity, 9 a.m.

9.11 Seaman, Varsity, 3 p.m. 

9.14 Cornerstone, JV, 9 a.m. 

9.16 Chapman, Varsity, 3 p.m. 

9.17 Baldwin, JV, 3:30 p.m. 

9.19 Wamego, JV, 3:30 p.m. 

9.21 Clay Center, Varsity, 9 a.m.

9.24 Perry-Lecompton, Varsity, 9 a.m.

9.26 Baldwin, JV, 8 a.m.

9.28 Salina SH, Varsity, 9 a.m. 

10.1 Chapman, Varsity, 3 p.m. 

10.8 Abilene, Varsity, 1 p.m. 

10.11-12 Regionals, TBD

10.18-19 State, TBD

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