With an anticipated roster of 11 players, Hillsboro girls’ tennis coach Bob Woelk expects to have a stronger, larger team this year.
“It’s the first time in a long time that we will have enough players to also have a junior varsity team,” Woelk said. “It’s going to help us in the long run.”
Woelk hopes to send several of his more experienced varsity players to state this year, including senior Allison Weber.
With a record of 25-9, Weber placed sixth in state last year.
“Last year the guy in charge of state said she was a ‘human backboard’ because many players just couldn’t get the ball past her,” Woelk said. “I expect her to be as strong or stronger player than last year. The fact that she is a left-hander also adds dimension to her game.”
Weber also placed fifth as a sophomore in singles play. As a freshman, Weber was part of a doubles team that placed fifth in state.
Woelk said Weber is a “three sport kid.” She plays softball and basketball when she is not playing tennis.
Over the summer, she took private tennis lessons and participated in a tennis camp, he said.
“There is no question that Allison has the tools to go to state again,” Woelk said. “She is my top player.”
Senior Claire Heyen is another returning player Woelk hopes will qualify for state. Heyen finished in the top eight singles players at regional last year.
“Claire was one win away from state,” he said. “At regionals, she went 2-2. One of her wins was against the number five seed.”
Woelk looks forward to seeing what juniors Allison Gray and Hannah Funk will do.
The duo had a 2-7 doubles record last year, Woelk said. They lost their first match at regionals to a very competitive team.
“There is value in defeat,” he said. “It’s part of the learning curve.”
Although her doubles partner moved away, sophomore Anna Glanzer is anticipated to return.
Madison Klein will join for the first time along with other seniors Joyann Dirks, Camilea Davidson and juniors Jazmene May and Mary Leihy.
Trojans have eight varsity and two junior varsity tournaments set for this season before regionals.
- Sept. 2: Hillsboro Invitational, 3 p.m.
- Sept. 4: At Sterling. 3 p.m.
- Sept. 11: At Smoky Valley, 10 a.m. in Lindsborg.
- Sept. 13: At Hesston, 9 a.m.
- Sept. 16: Hesston Junior Varsity Invitational, 3 p.m. in Hesston.
- Sept. 25: Trojan Invitational, 3 p.m. in Hillsboro.
- Sept. 30: At Ellsworth, 3 p.m.
- Sept. 30: Circles Junior Varsity Doubles, 3:30 p.m. in Towanda.
- Oct. 4: Central Kansas League tournament, 9 a.m. in Kingman.
- Oct. 7: At Abilene, 1 p.m.
- Oct. 10 and 11: Regionals, site to be determined.
- Oct. 17 and 18: State, site to be determined.