FRESH APPROACH

“New” is the operative word for the Hauser girls tennis team this spring.

The Jets have a new coach in Molly (Cleland) Crabtree, a former Hauser tennis player. She plans to have four new players in the lineup this spring who did not play in last year’s sectional, including one in the No. 1 singles spot.

“We’ll run into some good teams and we’ll get knocked around, but we’re decent and improving every day,” Crabtree said. “We have some potential.”

Senior Maycie Asher, who played a little No. 3 singles and No. 1 doubles last season, will begin the season at No. 1 singles for the Jets, who went 9-6 last year. Sophomore Alana Owen moves up from No. 3 singles to No. 2 singles, and sophomore Madie Sherman steps in at No. 3 singles.

Sophomore Sarah Tedder returns at No. 1 doubles and will team with junior Annie Ashbrook, who moves from No. 2 doubles. Junior Natalie Taylor and sophomore Tannyr Davis will step in at No. 2 doubles.

“We have a really good group of girls,” Crabtree said. “They’re a young squad looking to gain confidence playing the game. They’re getting used to my teaching style. I love the game. I’m just trying to get them to understand the game better and love it as well.”

Jennings County

The Panthers, who open the season against Hauser today, return five of seven regular varsity players from a team that went 7-15. But 15 of the 17 girls on last year’s squad played in at least one varsity match.Junior Avis McGovern returns at No. 1 singles. Sophomore Rebecca Driver moves up from No. 3 to No. 2 singles, and senior Stephanie Williams could step in at No. 3 singles.“Avis, I think, has raised her game quite a bit,” Jennings coach Deron Brown said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what she can do at No. 1. Rebecca has a unique game and will compete well at No. 2. We’ll just be inexperienced at No. 3.”

Junior Amy Gasper and senior Elaine Lykins return at No. 1 doubles. Senior Hailee Harmon is back at No. 2 doubles and will team with sophomore Maddy Hill.

Brown County

The Eagles will look to return to the top of the Western Indiana Conference this season after seeing their four-year conference title streak snapped. They finished 14-5.Junior Elisabeth Huls, who played No. 2 singles; senior Ashley Pugh, who played No. 3 singles; and sophomore Hallee Miller, who played No. 1 doubles, will be in the singles spots, although the order could fluctuate.

Sophomore Jacey Ferguson moves up from No. 2 doubles to No. 1 doubles and likely will be joined by junior Sarah Barrick. Battling for the No. 2 doubles spots are freshmen Baelyn Koester and Kiera Omberg, senior Kiara Unsworth and sophomore Maya Rockhold.

“We have some pretty good depth, but we’re definitely in the development stage,” Brown County coach Thom Miller said. “We have some work to do, but I think this will be a solid team. We’re hoping to compete for that conference championship again this year. It’s just exciting to work with a young group this year that’s trying to get better.”

Edinburgh

The Lancers figure to be experienced with the return of five varsity players from a 10-7 team.Junior Vanessa Hoskins, who played No. 1 singles, and senior Lillie Parmer, who went undefeated at No. 2 singles, are battling for the No. 1 spot. Junior Allie Schooler, a regional doubles qualifier, moves to No. 3 singles.Seniors Meghan Collett and Emma Westerfeld move up from No. 2 doubles to No. 1 doubles. Juniors Hannah Gosman, Heather Jones and Sydney Schlotter are battling for the two No. 2 doubles spots.

“They’re very hard-working, and I have most all the girls back,” Edinburgh coach Rachel Matusik said. “They knew how far we came last year, and they know what it takes to be at the top of our conference, and that’s everyone’s goal.”

At a glance

Hauser girls tennis

2016 schedule

Today;at Jennings County;5 p.m.

Thursday;Knightstown;5 p.m.

Saturday;at Brown County;9 a.m.

April 14;Edinburgh;4:30 p.m.

April 16;at Waldron Invitational;9 a.m.

April 18;at Morristown;4:30 p.m.

April 21;Waldron;4:30 p.m.

April 27;Trinity Lutheran;5:30 p.m.

April 29;at Eastern Hancock;5:30 p.m.

May 2;at Indianapolis Lutheran;4:30 p.m.

May 4;Indian Creek;4:30 p.m.

May 9;at Edinburgh;4:30 p.m.

May 10;at Indian Creek;4:30 p.m.

May 12;at Southwestern (Shelby);4:30 p.m.

May 17;at Triton Central;4:30 p.m.

Author photo
Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.