Only two letter winners return for the Oak Harbor High School girls tennis team, so the Wildcats will have to grow up in a hurry to improve upon last year’s 3-13 record.
Seniors Kyla McKinney and Brittany Rigby are the veterans.
Coach Horace Mells said the lineup isn’t set yet, but McKinney will likely hold down one of the singles spots. Rigby, too, could be among the singles players or could anchor one of the top doubles teams.
Among the newcomers, junior Chelsea Atkinson and sophomore MaKenzie Perry are candidates to handle the top singles spots.
Other key newcomers, according to Mells, are juniors Caterina Amsler, Faith Franssen, Chelsea Admire, Jamie Estrella and Zena Husler; and sophomores Alyssa Eden, Hannah Gluth, Mollie Briddell, McKinley Kellogg, Luaryn Plush, Dallas Breilein and Reilly Richards.
Mells said most of the players have “great athlete ability.”
Amsler and Franssen are likely to play singles or on the top doubles teams, according to Mells, with the others slated for doubles.
Mells said, “Even though we are lacking in experience, our goals are to improve from match to match and finish within the top three of our division.”
Stanwood is the favorite in the Wesco 3A North, according to Mells, with Shorewood and Shorecrest from the South as the top 3A teams in Wesco.
Oak Harbor opens with two 3:30 p.m. road matches, going to Arlington Tuesday, March 12, and Burlington-Edison Thursday, March 14. The home and conference opener is with Marysville Getchell at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 19.