Spring sports preview: Coupeville girls tennis

The Coupeville High School girls tennis team hopes to find luck with the number 13.

The Wolves have just 13 team members this spring as compared to 28 last year, but coach Ken Stange thinks the talent of his small squad is enough to capture the team’s fourth straight league title.

Sophomores Amanda d’Almeida and Jessica Riddle, the reigning district doubles champions, will anchor the 2011 squad and the No. 1 doubles slot.

Junior Emily Burchfield, who played No. 1 singles as a freshman but missed last year with an injury, is back to handle one of the top two singles spots with returning letter winner Lexi Blanchette.

Returning players who saw limited varsity action in 2010 are seniors Lexy Bennett and Jamie Price; juniors Rachael Parker and Grayson Akins; and sophomores Brooke Monroe, Haley Marx and Emily Gallahar.

Newcomers Hannah Christensen and Holly Craggs, both sophomores, round out the squad.

Stange said, “Our strength is balance. My top four players (Burchfield, Blanchette, d’Almeida and Riddle) are all solid players and capable of winning at singles or doubles…The four who will make up the second and third doubles teams will be strong at those positions as well.”

The team’s goals, Stange said, include winning the league crown, defeating South Whidbey for the first time in his five years of coaching and sending at least one doubles team and a singles player to state.

Coupeville opens the season at Port Townsend- Chimacum Thursday, May 17, at 4 p.m. The home opener is May 24 with Granite Falls at 3.

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