After losing several seniors, Hillsboro girls’ tennis team is establishing a new hierarchy.
With seven players on roster, the team will either be a very small 3A or large 2A team this year. Woelk said senior Allison Gray will likely be Trojan’s No. 1 singles player, while he expects senior Hannah Funk to make up one half of the doubles team.
“This year won’t be a ‘rebuilding year’ because some girls have a lot of experience, but we’re still figuring out where they’ll all fit,” coach Bob Woelk said.
Senior Mary Leihy and junior Anna Glanzer also return this year. Woelk anticipates pairing senior Leighy or sophomore Ellian Weisbeck with Funk.
“Mary has shown a lot of improvement in her second year,” he said. “Ellian is a strong hitter, too, but she played volleyball last year and this is her first year of tennis.”
Along with skill and conditioning drills at practice, players have been sparring in singles matches. Woelk assesses team members according to skill, but also considers player preference and interpersonal chemistry when making decisions about who should play singles or doubles.
“I want the girls to have a good time, but the only way you can really check skill level is looking at singles play, and then a ‘pecking order,’ if you will, is established from the top down,” Woelk said. “Some years we also mix it up and kids play both singles and doubles until we figure it out.”
He said the girls are all highly coachable and hard-working players, some just a have more match court experience.
“The ultimate goal is to get them ready for regional so that they can be state contenders,” Woelk said. “Once they get to state, from there it’s all kinda cake.”