Girls Tennis: Wingers retool on tennis courtRed Wing girls tennis head coach Randy Decker hasn’t had much trouble figuring out the lineup for the past several years, but this season might require some more thought.
By: Nick Gerhardt, The Republican Eagle
Red Wing girls tennis head coach Randy Decker hasn’t had much trouble figuring out the lineup for the past several years, but this season might require some more thought.
In the past Decker had his top two singles spots locked down. Last season it was Marisa Toivonen at No. 1 and Bryn Christenson at No. 2, but since both have graduated Decker will have some decisions to make.
The cupboard isn’t completely bare after last season for the Wingers. Junior Emily Stegora returns as does the No. 1 doubles team of seniors Katie Kelly and Megan Clemmons. Decker has that much figured out, but much remains undecided.
“Most our matches in conference we started up 2-0,” Decker said. “It’s just going to be a lot more close matches. We’re just going to need a lot more contributions all through the lineup.”
Red Wing’s streak of six consecutive conference titles ended last season with two conference losses at the end of the season. The Wingers lost to Shakopee and Chanhassen. Toivonen reached 100 career victories as well last season.
Red Wing returns freshman Solveig Christenson along with sophomore Lauren Brooks, senior Kristen Anderson and senior Maddie Flack who all have varsity experience. Christenson played much of last season at No. 4 singles and played well in just her first year of tennis.
“I have a lot of people who I expect to be in the lineup, but I’m not quite sure where because I’m not quite sure what they did during the summer and how they’re playing,” Decker said.
In addition to losing his top two singles players from last year, Decker will not have Nicole Schammel around this season. Schammel, who played the majority of the season at No. 3 singles, decided to concentrate on hockey instead of playing tennis this fall, Decker said.
The transition to this season and adjusting to new roles for teams members has become easier because of the depth the team features.
“We have a lot of depth and a lot of close depth,” Decker said. “It’s a nice problem to have when you have so many people who are so close that can play for you.”
The Wingers will certainly be younger than last season with just four seniors on the roster. There are six juniors and the rest of the lineup will come from underclassmen.
“With those young kids in singles our future looks pretty good for the next few years,” Decker said. “We’ll get them developed this year and we’ll be OK.”
Red Wing opens the season with a tournament Monday in Pine City.