GREENVILLE – Head Coach Jim Koontz is looking forward to another good year for his Lady Wave tennis team as they are coming off a school best 18-2 record.
They will be bolstered by the return of five starters from last years’ impressive squad.
They will be playing again in the always tough Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division where they were an impressive 9-1 with crossover division games included. Coach Koontz’s squad lost out to Vandalia-Butler for the league championship, 3-2.
”We want to get off to a good start again like we did last year,” Koontz said. “The same old teams such as Tipp, Butler and Troy will give us a run for our money as they are good year in and year out. Our non-conference schedule is loaded too as Eaton, Sidney Lehman, Beavercreek, Springfield, Celina, Van Wert and St. Mary’s all have good players returning.”
The veteran mentor will be ably assisted along the hard courts by varsity assistant Krista Swenson and volunteer coach Mark Koontz.
One loss from last year’s squad that wasn’t due to graduation was Addie Haupt, who transferred out after playing well at second doubles. If not for this defection Coach K would have had six returning starters out of seven.
Sophomore Emily Marchal returns as she had a spotless record as a freshman at second and third singles combined during the regular season at 20-0. Her overall mark of 21-1 set another school record for best winning percentage as she bowed out in the Troy sectionals to a young lady named Xia Lin in the second round out of always competitive Vandalia.
Junior Natalie Milligan returns as a district qualifier who amassed a 14-2 record at first singles. She will be counted on again to dispatch the top-rated hard court players and turn them into ”Milligan stew” with her mixture of shots.
Senior captain Anna Manges comes back after managing an 18-2 record last year at second singles for the green and white. Manges handles the court well and hopes to volley her way to an even better year between the lines.
Doubles sensation junior Abby Swensen comes back into the fold after a 17-3 record with her partners. Swenson’s all court coverage will be a key in her ever improving drop volley game at the net.
Doubles specialist senior Marabelle Lance lanced her opponents with her deceptive serve on her way to an 8-1 record at second doubles. Lance is one of five seniors playing out their last year for the Darke County squad.
Vying to crack the starting lineup will be seniors Katie Baughman, Valerie Myers and Rose Blocher, who plan on blocking many shots at the net for continuous points from all angles. Junior Amanda Chui will be chewing up the courts with her all-round game. Sophomores Felicity Lance, Erin Stephens and Faith Mansfield will be keeping the faith for the 14-member squad as they tweak their games accordingly. Ninth-graders Cheyanne Hartsock and Emma Tutwiler provide the youthful exuberance on the veteran squad.
”We are very proud of our athletes on and off the court as last year we had 14 out of our 15 girls on the honor roll,” Koontz said. “We are definitely ready to roll as we have our challenge matches this week and our first match Friday at St. Mary’s. The girls have been practicing very hard since June during open court and they have chosen to practice from 4 to 6 p.m. during the heat of the day to get ready for match-like conditions.”