2023 Spring Sports Preview: Boys and girls tennis capsules for the Greater Spokane League
Sun., March 19, 2023
From staff reports
Capsules for 2023 boys and girls tennis teams in the Greater Spokane League.
Teams listed in alphabetical order. Records and standings from 2022 season.
Central Valley: There are eight letter winners on the boys squad for first-year coach Connor Busch, but it’s too early in the season to predict roles on the team. “We have no seniors, but we’ve had great teamwork and spirit in early practices,” he said.
Shaun Williams takes over as girls coach with six letter winners and three starters back, led by district alternative junior Kalley Shelby. “We are younger and less experience in doubles,” Williams said, “but have young players who will improve over the season.”
Cheney: The Blackhawks boys team return seven for second-year coach Dan Estock, including senior singles players Hunter Passey and Connor Gall.
Linnea Love is back for her second season as coach of the girls team with just three letter winners returning, led by All-GSL honorable mention Colleen McKinnon, who will play doubles. Angelica Goold is a transfer from Mt. Spokane who could make an impact.
Ferris: The Saxons were hit pretty hard by graduation but have four returning letterwinners for fourth-year coach Jim Utzinger, with seniors Brennan Roshetko and Cameron Lee as leaders.
Gonzaga Prep: Shane Sandlin is the new boys coach with seven letter winners to work with. No. 1 singles Ryan Dougherty will be a leader.
The girls team went 10-0 last season for coach Jason Chapman, who enters his fourth season with seven returning starters, including state qualifying singles player Juliet McFarland and doubles Kate Palelek and Carly Walton – all seniors.
Lewis and Clark: The Tigers boys were third last year for veteran coach Tobin Phelps, entering his 21st season, and return five, including regional singles qualifier senior Everett Skubinna and doubles qualifier junior Bridger Cloninger. “We return great senior leadership along with quite a bit of varsity match play,” Phelps said.
Kate Burns returns for her second season as girls coach. “For the third year in a row we graduated over half of our varsity players,” she said. “With this year’s young team, we’re looking to build match experience.”
Mead: The Panthers boys were undefeated in league for third-year coach Bryce Borland, but just two letter winners return, seniors Andrew Parker and Drew Champlin, who qualified for state in doubles but will play singles this season. “Our goal is to execute high percentage tennis, leading to lots of success on our courts,” Borland said.
Jon Wrigley enters his 21st season coaching, his second with the Panthers girls team. Junior Ravenna Byrd, a state alternate and all-league pick, is one to watch along with doubles team Lizzie Hardy and Rylee Lupton.
Mt. Spokane: The Wildcats lost a lot of contributors from last season but all-league doubles player Lucas Trigg is back for his senior season for coach Dustin McConnell, in his second year as head coach. “The returners saw what success looked like in 2022 and how playing solid and consistent can lead to success,” he said.
Third-year girls coach Jacob Fry lost 11 letter winners to graduation, so there’s plenty of opportunity for players to step up. “Our undefeated JV team will reload our lineup this year,” he said, noting several volleyball players came out as well. Junior Ava Weishaar and senior Rowan Janda have an early leg up.
North Central: Brina Carrigan is the new girls coach with five returning letter winners. “We have some strong returners,” she said. “But we also have a lot of new players that will be filling in varsity slots.”
Ridgeline: Boys basketball coach Freddie Rehkow doubles as tennis coach and has 10 letter winners back for his second season. “Last year 13 of our 17 players had never played competitive tennis,” he said. “This group has worked hard and has high expectations.” No. 1 singles Tyler Baker was first-team All-GSL and a state qualifier.
The girls team returns nine for coach Russ Tarmann, including state qualifier Avery Lewis and fellow seniors Cassidy Kuhlmann and Charley Palm.
University: Dan Tenney takes over as boys coach with six letter winners back, led by regional doubles qualifier senior Saxton Schultz and No. 1 singles senior Matthew Claypool. “Great attitude and hard-working guys,” Tenney said, noting the JV team returned 10 players with four moving up.
Julene Osborn enters her 20th season as the girls coach with seven returning letter winners, including Kailee Alteneder and Rebecca Coe, who will play singles but took eighth at state in doubles last year.
Clarkston: John Kowatsch returns for his eighth season with the Bantams and 16th total. Six letter winners are back, including all-league singles seniors Nathan Gall and Aiden Schnatterle. “We are slowly building our numbers,” Kowatsch said, “but we have a great group of guys character-wise who are willing to work hard and get better every day.”
The Bantam girls return seven letter winners for fourth-year coach Margie Denton, including second-team All-GSL seniors Maddie Kaufman and Taryn Demers. “We will be competitive this year as we are about 14 deep,” Denton said.
East Valley: Tom Griner enters his second season running the girls team and had just three letter winners back, including No. 1 singles sophomore Fasai Xiong. “We have a real team synergy and family environment,” Griner said, noting the Knights have three exchange students from Europe on the team.
Pullman: Cody Wendt’s district champion boys team went 13-0 last year and returns state medalist Vijay Lin. “We have a deep field of experienced and accomplished players,” the seventh-year coach said. “I believe we have an excellent chance to field medalists in both singles and doubles at state.”
Seventh-year girls coach Dan Vollmer has 10 letter winners and seven starters back, including State 2A champion Rhoda Wang, just a sophomore. “We are solid in singles,” Vollmer said, noting the graduation of top doubles pair Audrey Pitzer and Renee Sun, who finished seventh at state.
Rogers: Ninth-year boys coach Miles Moffitt has four starters back, including first-team All-GSL Aiden Bui and second-teamer Nikko McDowell. “Our top-six guys are super strong and put in tons of work,” Moffitt said.
The Pirates girls key returners are seniors Weiying Su and Joanne Avila. Coach Stephanie Garrett lauds her squad’s positive attitudes, fitness and effort.
Shadle Park: Adam Poush and Scott Stalder co-coach the boys team, which is led by first-team All-GSL junior Benson Plaster at No. 1 singles. “Our strength is in our junior class,” Poush said. “I’m excited for the future of the program.”
Shahid Quidwai returns for a sixth season as girls coach with six letter winners back, including all-league No. 1 singles sophomore Danielle Cozzetto. “With all our starters we are hoping to compete for the league title,” Quidwai said.
West Valley: Boys coach Ned Fadeley is back for his seventh season with 10 returning letter winners, including All-GSL No. 1 singles sophomore Conner Kunz. “We’re looking to build on last year’s competitive team with some exciting newcomers,” Fadeley said.
The girls will be led by No. 1 doubles team Carlie Knapp and Sutton Nordus, who qualified for state last year. “We are a young team with a lot of upside,” first-year coach Blake Lynd said.
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