Viking Girls Look to Repeat As Conference Tennis Champs
The team finished 17-1 overall, with its first loss coming in the quarterfinals of the state 3-A dual team playoffs by a 5-4 decision to Burlington Williams.
Six of the top-eight players return this year, including four all-conference selections.
All-conference seniors Katie Kelly and Natasha Whetzel, and undefeated senior Kendra Black, return to lead the team.
Kelly and Whetzel were conference singles finalists, with Kelly winning her first individual conference championship. For the season, Kelly went a combined 37-1 in singles and doubles, Whetzel went 33-3 and Black finished 19-0.
Maura Lenahan and Lydia Stalls, both all-conference last year, also return to lend strength to the 2006 team. Lenahan at No. 4 singles and Stalls at No. 5 singles were 30-5 in 2005. Lenahan returns as a two-time doubles champion.
Sophomore Anna Maness will provide improved play, and should earn more playing time after going 6-0 last year. Freshmen Jordan Smith and Samantha Marsh are improved players.
They will be joined by sophomore Brittany Gordon as first-year players.
The team is without two-time conference doubles champion Danica Wanko, who teamed with Lenahan to reach the state quarterfinals in individual doubles competition in 2005. Also graduated is Amanda Evans, who won over 50 matches in her four years on the team.
The Vikings will have Neena Wanko, Danica's sister. Wanko, a freshman, is currently ranked No. 6 in the state in girls 14s, and No. 22 in the Southern sectional.
Frye said the 2006 squad will have quality singles players, but needs to improve its overall doubles skills to compete at the highest level.
He also feels that if that happens, fans in Vikingland can expect a promising season.
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