Girls tennis teams each have areas they seek to improve upon

April 13, 2009

By Bob Taylor

Mika Asaba, of Issaquah High School, plays a marathon three-set match last year against Skyline. File

Mika Asaba, of Issaquah High School, plays a marathon three-set match last year against Skyline. File

The Skyline High School girls tennis team went 6-3 overall last year and hopes to improve with some new faces in 2009.

Freshman newcomer Alicia VanGrunsven will lead the team at the No. 1 singles spot.

“She definitely belongs there,” head coach Bettina Gehle said. “I hope she will have a good experience.”

Freshman Allison Opitz will help out in the No. 3 doubles position.

In her second year on varsity, junior Kelly Boudwin will look to play a strong role as the No. 2 singles player.

“She’s a very talented player.” Gehle said. “She’s very solid. Has a good spirit, too.”Top returning players Kari Thompson, Kristin Klein, Kristin Park and Morganne Hatfield should provide important team leadership and experience to help Skyline battle the tougher 4A KingCo Conference competition in 2009.

Gehle said it’s difficult to say how the season will go for Skyline, but she has a positive outlook.

“I’m feeling very, very confident with their attitude,” she said.

In a recent match, Skyline topped Woodinville 6-3. VanGrunsven, Boudwin, Molly Knutson and Hatfield won their singles matches. VanGrunsven and Knutson, Skyline’s No. 1 doubles, and Boudwin and Hatfield, the No. 2 doubles, also won their matches.

Eagles roll to early wins

The unseasonable weather, which has postponed many matches, has hurt Issaquah along with all other KingCo teams.

However, Issaquah looked strong in 7-2 victories against Bothell and Lake Washington last month.

In the Bothell match, Alyssa Wislon, Selena Lustig, Morgan Gierke, Dayna Bennett and Ariel Hagen all won their singles matches. The lone singles defeat came when Issaquah’s No. 1 Mika Asaba lost a 6-4, 7-5 battle to Bothell’s Nicole Henderson.

Lustig and Hagen, Emma Haberlach and Katherine Allison won their doubles matches.

Wislon, Lustig, Gierke, Bennett and Hagen won their singles matches against Lake Washington. Asaba and Wislon, Haberlach and Allison were victorious in doubles play.

Patriots look for improvement

Liberty coach Mike Salokas looks for improvement from his Patriots this season. While Skyline and Issaquah moved up to the 4A ranks, the 3A/2A KingCo Conference will remain strong with perennial power Mercer Island.

Liberty’s top players are Amber Eastham, Kayli Stix, Alison Martin, Jaime Hitchcock, Emmie Kellogg-Smith, Nicole Smith, Candice Canley and Anna Dalgardno.

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