About the only problem the Oshkosh West tennis team is going to run into this season is where to assign certain players to certain spots.
And that’s a great problem to have.
Oshkosh West only lost two varsity players from last year’s team and after finishing second in the Fox Valley Association last year behind Neenah, so the Wildcats look to be highly competitive once again.
“Yeah, we had a very talented freshman class last year,” Oshkosh West head coach Debbie Heinen said. “They played No. 2 and 3 singles and half of No. 2 doubles for us. We are returning a group of talented freshman who will have a year under their belt. We had a lot of great sophomores and juniors who will be back so we definitely have high hopes going into this season with a lot of returners and a lot of experience.”
All singles players return for Oshkosh West, including two that were freshman last year. Haley Asuma is the lone senior who will play singles while junior Emily Edsell – who made it to state last year – returns as the top singles player after earning honorable mention last year.
Sophomores Kimmy Steinert and Erika Casper round out singles after having outstanding freshman seasons.
Despite having all four singles players back, doubles is still arguably the strong suit for the Wildcats. Two teams made it to the state tournament back and Oshkosh West returns three of those four girls.
Senior Erin Pyle and sophomore Maggie Schiessl made it to state last year at No. 2 doubles while senior Danielle Hawi was a part of the No. 1 doubles team that also made it to state.
Heinen doesn’t who will be grouped up this year, but said it’s a great problem to have.
“It might be her and a combination of the two kids who were at No. 2 doubles, but we are also getting some talented freshman again,” Heinen said. “The singles line up is so deep so it’s possible that a singles player slides up into No. 1 doubles. It’s a nice problem to have.”
Also playing doubles this season will be Ali Wolff, who played on the No. 3 team last year.
The Spartans lose a lot from last year’s team – nine seniors – including the No. 1 doubles and singles players – which combined for four state appearances.
Returning for Oshkosh North includes Lesley Kutnink, Kjersten Kleveland, Gennesi Bryant and Morgan Moxon.
Head coach Paul VandenBoogaard said despite losing that many seniors, he expects the girls to have a solid season once again.
“I am always striving to have the girls compete to the best of their ability and give 100 percent at all times,” the coach said. “As far as finishing in the conference, I think it is always a good goal to be in the top 3 or 4 in conference. Again it is way too early to try to figure those types of things out.”
Rachel Brown takes over the Knights that lost five seniors from last year’s team.
However, the team is returning six players with varsity experience so Brown said she believes that her team will be competitive within the conference.
Those returning include Sara Weber, Abby Schaefers, Mara Resop, Alex Masini, Erin Flora and Emily Dolan.
Brown also said that the numbers are large this season so she expects others to make an impact.
The Tigers bring back their No. 3 and 4 singles players last year in Caroline Brumley and Rachel Peppler. Brumley earned honorable mention last season.
Ripon also returns its No. 2 doubles team from last year in Emily Goyette and Kaitlyn Scoville, both who were freshman last year. Goyette earned first team all-conference last season.
Alex Wolf: (920) 426-6661; email@example.com; on Twitter @Wolfa07