Spring preview: Coupeville High School girls tennis

The Coupeville girls tennis team is preparing to complete its third straight sweep of Friday Harbor to capture this year’s league championship.

Friday Harbor and Coupeville are the only two 1A schools in the district with tennis; the two will meet three times this year to determine the league champion.

The Wolves dominated the past two years by sweeping the Wolverines.

Coach Ken Stange said the top returning players are seniors Jessica Blanchette, Jordan Akins and Lily Doyle.

Stange said the lineup has not been finalized, but Blanchette, a dominate doubles player the last two years, will most likely make up one-half of the first doubles team.

Akins, who played a variety of roles last spring, will probably team up with Blanchette this year, Stange said.

Doyle, who has worked hours preparing for this year according to Stange, most likely will play second doubles after holding down a spot on the third doubles duo last year. Her partner will probably be one of the top newcomers, freshman Amanda d’Almeida.

Other top new comers include senior Marie Hesselgrave, junior Julia Sierra Castano and freshman Lexi Blanchette.

Hesselgrave returns to the team after not playing last spring and will play No. 2 singles.

Castano, an exchange student from Spain, will compete at first singles. Stange said, “We are fortunate to have such a good player, especially considering that we lost five of last year’s top eight players.”

Lexi Blanchette, along with classmates Brooke Monroe, Haley Marx and Jessica Riddle, will combine throughout the season to form a variety of No. 3 doubles squads.

Stange said the team’s goal is to sweep Friday Harbor, but “that will be a tall order, as Friday Harbor also has some talented players, including the defending district singles champ, Rebecca Leff.”

He added, “Winning is not necessarily the most important task when a player is simply trying to improve her game. Of course, winning makes everything taste better, but as long as a player is satisfied with her performance she can take positive feelings from the match.”

Cavelaro of Lake Stevens comes to Coupeville Wednesday, March 17, at 3 p.m. to open the season.

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