Prep Tennis: Area squads ready to serve up wins in 2018
KINGMAN – With the 2018 tennis season already underway, the Lee Williams High School girls lead the pack of area teams with a perfect 3-0 record. Don’t count out the other squads though.
“I’ve already seen a ton of improvement – I like what I see,” said Volunteers head coach Adam Cvetich. “Now it’s just getting them to do it in an actual match. Once we get that to transfer over, we’re going to have some really competitive games. It’ll be exciting.”
The Lee Williams boys could very easily be 3-0 as well, but their opening dual meets were canceled due to rain. So the Vols (1-0) are focusing on getting better and look to tally another win Monday at Mingus (2-1).
“I’m just going to keep on pushing them to get them to be the best versions of themselves that they can be,” Cvetich said. “There are lots of different fundamentals that I can keep on working on and hopefully see them keep on improving throughout the year.”
The Kingman boys squad is also focusing on progressing this season despite struggling with numbers. In an 8-1 season-opening loss to Lee Williams, the Bulldogs only had four players.
Kingman head coach Todd Winebarger usually has five players on his squad, but that still puts the Bulldogs down a point to start a dual meet. Nevertheless, the goal is have his players improve each and every day.
“If you become a pusher, plus those specialty shots, then you can be that much better,” Winebarger said. “Serving too – serving is the toughest part of tennis. We’re just going to work on serving with the freshman. Put a little work in every day.”
The Lady Vols have put in work every day to get to where they are this season. Lee Williams returns all but one starter from last season and excitement is at an all-time high.
“This year is going to be our best year,” said junior Faith Nielsen. “We’re going to get a lot of wins in, for sure. All of us are ready for it. I don’t think we were ready freshman and sophomore year, but I think this is our year.”
Lady Vols head coach Haylee Tetrault couldn’t be happier that she has such an experienced squad. That fact paired with Lee Williams entering its second year in Division II Section III has all the makings of a great season.
“We’ve played these teams before,” Tetrault said. “So we know what to expect, whereas last year we came into our section playing teams we’ve never played. Now we have a better game plan and a better angle to come at these teams head on.”
While the Lady Vols have a long way to go, they have set their sights high.
“We don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves, but obviously our end goal is to get to state and play the best that we can,” Tetrault said.
The Lady Bulldogs, meanwhile, are in a bit of a rebuilding year as they only have three returners.
That may be the case, but Kingman’s Denise Wiley believes her teammates can show how far they’ve improved in a short amount of time.
“The new girls have so much potential,” Wiley said. “I’m so proud of the way they have transformed from day one to our first game. It’s going to be a great season because we have all this new potential on the team.”
That mentality comes from the top as Lady Bulldogs head coach Greg Chastain is asking for steady improvement each day.
“I’m just looking for them to stop having the 6-0, 6-1 scores – at least making it to a third set or a good match,” he said. “That’s our expectations, especially with the young girls. Just get them experience and get them better.”