Spring sports preview: Oak Harbor girls tennis

The Oak Harbor High School girls tennis team will lean on seniors Cady O’Dell and Clarissa Abadesco heading into the 2011 season.

O’Dell, the Wildcats’ No. 1 singles player, finished fourth in Wesco 4A action and seventh at district last year.

Abadesco placed sixth in the state in doubles last spring with since-graduated partner Laurin Rico. Abadesco is slotted to play third singles this season.

Junior Shannon Neilon is set for fourth singles.

Veteran players are most likely to hold down the starting doubles teams for coach Horace Mells: first doubles, junior Alexis Holmly and senior Jordan Faralan; second doubles, seniors Jennifer Bowers and Cassandra Gianino; and third doubles, juniors Jennifer Fremd and Molly Van Dam.

The Wildcats will get some help from abroad. Junior Spanish exchange student Belen Cifuentes currently mans the No. 2 singles slot, and Japanese junior Shoko Yamaguchi and German junior Leonie Ross will add depth in doubles.

Mells said that senior Kelli Travenetti and juniors Jordan Trask, Kimberly Kerley and Ashley Leslie are also in the mix for doubles action.

Mells said, “As usual, our strength will be in singles. All of the singles players are expected to be competitive and should win a high percentage of their matches…By mid-season our doubles are expected to become competitive.”

He added, “We are in a new league and not familiar with the strength of most teams. Our goal is to finish within the top three teams, win 13 of 16 league matches and advance a minimum of one singles and one doubles team to district.”

The Wildcats entertain Stanwood Monday, March 14, at 3:30 p.m. in the season opener.

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