Spring is here and that means we have traded snow showers for almost daily thunderstorms, but the temperatures have warmed up and the girls tennis season is in full swing. Washington, Washington Catholic, North Daviess, Loogootee and Barr-Reeve all field competitive teams in the race for a sectional title. The five teams will be spread out across three different sectional draw’s next month, but there will be plenty of head-to-head competition between now and then.
Kevin Stallman returns as coach and he welcomes three seniors back from a team that lost in the first round to sectional runner-up Vincennes Rivet. Chelsee Brown, Audrey Rogers and Audra Stallman will provide senior leadership, as all three have two years of varsity experience.
“All of our girls, led by our three seniors, have been working hard in the pre-season in preparation for our matches,” Stallman said. “Chelsee and Audrey have been battling for our No. 1 and No. 2 singles spots, and we are currently trying to find the right combination for the rest of our team. Our doubles teams are improving everyday so I am hoping to see some very good things from them as the year progresses. I have been very pleased with their practice effort up to this point. Now we just need to play some matches to see where we stand.”
Marlee Stoner will come in at No. 3 singles, Stallman and Rebecca Guthrie and the team of Mareike Bayer-Haven Lunsford will be at No. 2 doubles. Stallman was a part of a doubles team that made it to the regional at Bedford North Lawrence last year with graduated senior Rachel Chattin. The Hatchets finished third out of four teams Saturday at Paoli Invitational, which was an encouraging start for Washington.
“We played well against two of the best teams we play all year,” Stallman said. “Even in the matches we lost, I thought the girls played the match close and we had our chances to win, but we just couldn’t pull out the victory. This should help prepare us for the big week (three matches) we have coming up. I am looking forward to see what this group can do this year as the season progresses.”