Five returning letterwinners is a good place for first-year Goshen High School girls tennis coach Daniel Love to start the 2013 season.
He just doesn’t know at this point, due to the late arrival of more spring-like weather conditions, just how those five veterans are going to fill out the lineup card.
“At this point we have only been able to have one practice outdoors, so we have not had any challenge matches,” the coach said. “The five returnees will all be in the varsity lineup somewhere — I’m just not sure yet where. The veterans will be one of our strengths, especially since three of them are seniors that were the team leaders a year ago.
“We have been hitting indoors and from what I have seen the girls have made a lot of improvement since last season.”
Love, who is also the GHS boys tennis coach, takes over for Scott Miller who was the GHS girls coach for the past seven seasons. Miller is now an assistant principal in the Penn Harris Madison School Corporation.
The Redskins are slated to open the season on Monday at South Bend Adams.
Emily Halley, Ali Peters and Leah Shetler are senior letterwinners. Miranda Kay is a junior and Kayci Troyer a sophomore.
Peters played No. 1 singles a year ago posting a 12-9 record, Kay was a sparkling 18-3 at No. 2 and Halley 14-7 at No. 3. Shetler and Troyer were 9-12 at No. 1 doubles.
“We are going to rely on the experience we have coming back,” Love said. “Last season we had a pretty strong singles lineup. This year I would like to be strong up and down the lineup.
“The returnees have put in a lot of court time since last season. They have been playing in tournaments and have been taking private lessons. Galen Mast, Doug Gossman and the pros at Eastlake Athletic Club all give private lessons.”
Halley and Peters are three-year letterwinners.
The three seniors will also be the captains.
Goshen finished last season with a 10-8 overall record, 3-4 in the NLC.
“The NLC is always tough, but I like our experience. That can really help us,” Love said.
Losses to graduation were Kathrin Rzepka and Andrea Yeater.
A total of 23 girls are on the team.
“There should be some competition for spots,” Love said. “Depending on how the lineup shakes out we could have four girls competing for the second or third singles spot or the No. 2 doubles slot.
“If I had to make out the lineup today, Kay would probably be at No. 1 singles, Peters at No. 2, Halley at No. 3, Shetler and Troyer at No. 1 doubles. The No. 2 doubles position is the unknown at this point.
Troyer will be playing with a cast on her right hand after breaking her hand playing volleyball.
“Kayci is a left-hander so she should be able to play with the cast,” Love said.
With only one outdoor practice the coach has had to come up with different things for the team to be doing.
“We have been doing a lot of running and lots of abdominal work,” the coach said. “We have been doing some hitting with foam balls and small nets. That has helped with the more inexperienced players.”
Other seniors on the roster are Katheryn Giddens and Lisanne Scheffers. More juniors are Courtney Dobrzykowski and Sarah Rush.
Additional sophomores are Annika Bontrager, Christine Chavarria, Megan Ewing, Amy Harris, Kathleen Morrical, Allena Odum, Melissa Stees and Teaosha Cunningham. Freshmen are Alexis Johnston, Ali Miller, Liz Erickson, Elida Gonzalez, Daniela Ganboa, Vanessa Chavarria, Ashley Taylor, Kimberly Paz, Alexa Gonzalez and Calsey Gruzdov.
“We have some inexperience as 13 of the 27 girls have never played at the high school level,” Love said.
Managers are Derick Hostetler, Luke Rush and Peter Vukovich.
Mark Saner and Kassidy Love are assistant coaches.
“Mark helped me with the boys last fall and Kassidy (Daniel’s wife) helped with cross country so she has been our strength and conditioning coach,” Love said.
Mar. 25 — SB Adams T
Mar. 26 — Bethany H
Mar. 27 — Jimtown T
Apr. 11 — Wawasee H
Apr. 13 — Goshen Round Robin
Apr. 16 — Northridge T
Apr. 19 — West Noble T
Apr. 20 — Culver Girls Ac. H
Apr. 23 — NorthWood T
Apr. 25 — Concord T
Apr. 30 — Plymouth H
May 1 — Memorial T
May 3 — Fairfield H
May 6 — Warsaw H
May 8 — NLC at Plymouth
May 9 — NLC at Plymouth
May 10 — NLC at Plymouth
May 13 — Central H
May 15 — Sectional at Goshen
May 16 — Sectional at Goshen
May 17 — Sectional at Goshen
May 21 — Regional at Northridge
May 22 — Regional at Northridge
May 25 — Semistate at FW Con.
May 31 — State Finals at Indy
June 1 — State Finals at Indy