There are 42 girls out for Decorah's girls tennis this year. Head coach Larry Berland is in his 43 year of coaching. Says Berland, "We lost Vita Domnenko and Carina Yee from last year's team who qualified for state doubles competition. They will be difficult to replace but we do have the players to step up and take their place." Kalee Bigler, Izzy de la Cruz, and Maggy Hovden also graduated and will be missed. Assistant coaches are Luis Maguina, Kristi Schilling, and Phil Yee.
Top returnees and 2018 results include:
Mara Frieden 10-5 singles, 13-5 doubles
Alli Groux 10-3 singles, 11-3 doubles
Mya Herman 10-6 singles, 3-2 doubles
Josie Kleckner 5-5 singles, 9-3 doubles
Sophia Maguina 4-0 singles, 4-1 doubles
Helen Weis 2-1 singles, 7-2 doubles
Payton Schutte 4-2 singles, 5-3 doubles
Soleil Smith 12-6 singles, 3-2 doubles
Morgan Brauer 5-0 singles, 4-2 doubles
Cady Peterson 7-1 singles, 7-4 doubles
Team strengths include a solid group of returning, experienced players from last year's regional final team who have experienced tough competition and should be ready to focus on playing well.
"The girls encourage each other and practice with an incentive to make themselves and their teammates the best possible and we have a solid core of coaches to assist the girls on their mission to be the best. It's always exciting to get a season going. This will be a year when many inexperienced players will have an opportunity to make a difference. Our challenge will be duplicating last season's super finish," added coach Berland.
The girls' first competition will be 9:00 a.m. Saturday against Cedar Rapids Kennedy at Kennedy High School.