After winning conference titles in all four years of its tenure in the Olympic League, the Coupeville High School tennis team now turns its sights on a North Sound Conference championship.
Coach Ken Stange acknowledges that it won’t be easy.
“We are in a new league with higher standards,” Stange said. “South Whidbey, King’s, Granite Falls and Friday Harbor will make a competitive group.
“I expect South Whidbey to be the gold standard, although we have been able to stay close with them in recent years.”
The Wolves will be led in the hunt for another crown by seven letter winners: Tia Wurzrainer, Avalon Renninger, Genna Wright, Jillian Mayne, Emily Fiedler, Jaimee Masters and Elaira Nicolle.
The doubles team of Wurzrainer and Renninger had a “fantastic season last year,” Stange said. The duo wrapped up the season by finishing third in the district tournament.
“I feel fortunate to have Avalon and Tia leading the charge for me this season,” Stange said. “They will be essential to our entire team’s success. Luckily the path was laid for them by (past leaders) Valen Trujillo, Payton Aparicio and Sage Renninger.”
Wright returns as the club’s No. 1 singles player.
Those three are the only returning starters, so “we have some work to do if we want to make waves in our league,” Stange said.
Among the newcomers, two freshmen, Eryn Wood and Abby Muholland, “have shown promise” during the first week of practice and could break into the starting lineup, according to Stange.
“We have quite a few young players this year, so I expect lots of development as the season progresses,” he said.
Stange listed many goals for his team, including working hard, improving each day, showing sportsmanship and finishing among the leaders in the conference and postseason.
The Wolves (7-8 last year) go to Port Angeles at 3 p.m. Monday, March 11, and then host King’s at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28.