Spring sports preview: Oak Harbor High School tennis

Filling the slots on the tennis team shouldn’t be a problem for Oak Harbor coach Horace Mells this spring -- 64 girls turned out.

How well those girls will do once competition starts is another matter.

Mells said, “We lost 10 varsity players from last season and most of the other schools are returning most of theirs. The competition is going to be tough, but we are looking forward to the challenge.”

He added, “Our goals are to finish the season in the top five and advance one singles player and/or doubles team to districts.”

Seven letter winners return, and four, according to Mells, will hold the  singles slots: seniors Alexa Holmly, Shannon Neilon, Jennifer Fremd and Chelsey McKenzie.

The other three, seniors Molly Van Dam and Rachelle Muzones and junior McKenzie Schneider, will compete in doubles, Mells said.

Key newcomers include Spanish exchange student Letice Salvador; seniors Joyce Abides and Ashley Haynes; juniors Kyla McKinney, Molly Murdock, Brittany Rigby, Jenny Landingin and Stephanie Milliron; and sophomore Faith Franssen.

Mells sees singles, manned by experienced players, as the team’s strength. He said, “Our weakness is in doubles at the beginning of the season as players learn the fundamentals and gain match-play experience.”

The Wildcats, 8-7 in 2011, jump right into league action  with Mountlake Terrace at home 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 13.

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