Can the Coupeville High School tennis team complete a sweep of its four seasons in the Olympic League?
As the Wolves head into their fourth and final season in the conference, they are aiming to snag their fourth straight championship and finish the run without having lost a league match.
“I think we have just enough firepower to do that,” coach Ken Stange said. “We will be playing some untested people at the varsity level. This happens most years, but we graduated all three of our singles players.”
That firepower will be ignited by the senior doubles team of Payton Aparicio and Sage Renninger. The pair are two-time defending league champions; they finished third in the conference as freshmen.
One goal, Stange said, is to win the Olympic title, another is to see Aparicio and Renninger qualify for state.
“They took second at districts last year, but there was only one spot to state,” he said. “We’re hoping that the combination of hard work, last year’s graduation at Charles Wright, and two spots to state from districts will give Sage and Payton the chance to punch a well-deserved ticket to state. If they make it, they will have a good chance at earning a medal.”
Stange said Aparicio and Renninger are the best doubles team he has coached: “It’s our last ride together, so to speak, and I’m honored to be a part of it. I’m excited for the opportunities they have created for themselves.”
Aparicio and Renninger are more than talented tennis players, according to Stange: “(They) have taken the reins and are leading the team with warm-ups and team building.”
A third goal, Stange said, is to qualify as many people as possible for the district tournament.
There’s a good chance those qualifiers will come from the returning group of letter winners: seniors Aparicio, Renninger, Maggie Crimmins, Claire Mietus and Kameryn St. Onge and sophomores Avalon Renninger, Jillian Mayne, Zara Bradley and Tia Wurzrainer.
Key newcomers are senior Heather Nastali and freshman Genna Wright.
Port Angeles comes to Coupeville (6-3 overall last year) for the season opener at 4 p.m. Monday, March 12.