Frontier girls tennis
Last year was supposedly a rebuilding year for East Valley’s girls tennis team.
This year they’re after a third straight league championship.
“We have it difficult,” said coach Aaron Alteneder. “People know we’re trying to three-peat so we won’t sneak up on anybody. I thought we did last year because we were so young.”
The Knights won all 10 league matches with players who are all returned, save for one singles player and a doubles duo.
They played West Valley Tuesday. The Eagles of new coach Paula Heimbigner had opened with a win against Clarkston.
Those three, said Altender, are likely the league’s favorites.
Knights will be in the hunt
Knights Sharon Wentz, a junior, and Vicki Welter, a senior, return as Nos. 1 and 2 singles players. Sophomore Daphne Willmschen, unbeaten as the No. 4 singles player last year, moves up a notch.
Varsity veterans sophomore Brooke Ruchert and junior Sarah Emami are fourth singles or doubles players.
Last year’s No. 2 doubles team of sophomores Terra Matsuda and Tiffany Claridge, moves up. Seniors Jenny Frank and Leigh Halloran take their place and the other doubles team will come from senior Brooke Demianew, junior Lisa Werner, sophomore Tammy Hill and freshman Angie Kurtz.
“This is one of the most experienced groups I’ve had and they’re talented,” said Altender. “We’ll be in the hunt for sure.”
Eagles seek improvement
Heimbigner inherits a team that finished in the middle of the league and has seven regulars back.
All-league senior Rani Johnson is back at No. 1 singles and sophomore Molly Ormsby is a returning singles player. Junior Tiffany Miner moves to No. 2 from doubles and senior Michaela Ott rounds out the top four.
Doubles veterans are senior Lisa Chasse, junior Jennifer Colandro and sophomore Tiffany Thompson.
Others in the lineup or vying to get there are Central Valley transfer Aliesha Hodge, a junior, sophomores Julie Jones, Caroline Moore and Janelle Riehle and freshman Tiffany McFrederick.
Heimbigner left coaching for eight or nine years, she said, while her sons played basketball in high school and college.
“You forget things and there have been some changes,” she said. “But it’s nice to be back.”