Experienced net squad at Coupeville

Senior Megan Monroe is focused on the ball as she sets up for a return.   - Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times
Senior Megan Monroe is focused on the ball as she sets up for a return.
— image credit: Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times

A bunch of returning players, including the number-one doubles team, the number-two singles player and half of the number-two doubles team, has Coupeville High School tennis coach Ken Stange in a highly optimistic mood in his fourth season at the helm.

Add to that two returning senior veterans and a strong freshman singles player, and the Wolves are in good shape to repeat as league champions in 2009.

In 2008, only Friday Harbor and Darrington composed the three-team league but with the addition of Granite Falls, this season should be a highly competitive one.

“I have five full-time varsity players returning and a total of 29 girls out for the team,” Stange said. “I have some options this year and I fully expect that we will defend our league title.”

Last season, the Wolf Pack went undefeated in league matches.

Returning seniors are Hannah Merrell and Megan Monroe, who were the number-one doubles team last year and qualified for state, Ashley Sanders, who played number-two singles, and Lexi Hemphill, who spent part of last year in Brazil.

“I’m expecting big things from Hannah and Megan this year. They have state experience,” Stange said.

Also returning is junior Jessica Blanchette, who was part of last year’s number-two doubles team.

“Jordan Akins, who is also a junior, is back,” Stange said. “She was a part-time varsity player last year and she will be a full-time player this year.”

New to the team is freshman Emily Burchfield, who Stange said is a real solid player and will definitely be a member of the varsity this season.

Coupeville hosts Granite Falls in a 3:30 p.m. match Thursday, March 19.

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