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Tiger tennis has shoes to fill after graduating eight from state tourney team in 2021

The Morris Area / Chokio-Alberta / West Central Area girls tennis team has solid numbers for the 2022 season, according to the sign ups at the all activities kick-off Monday, Aug. 8, in Morris.

“There was a strong turn out for the activities kick-off on Monday. I was excited to see so many new faces joining the team this year,” said Kelly White, who has moved up from coaching junior varsity to an assistant varsity coach this season. “Our numbers will be as strong or stronger than last year, 14 to 16 on varsity and 15 to 20 on JV.”

Numbers are good because the MACA / WCA tennis program has big shoes to fill after graduating nine seniors, including seven that held varsity spots all season in 2021.

“There is a big loss with all those that graduated, but the girls from the previous years are ready to fill those positions,” Tiger head coach Britney House said.

Cate Kehoe debuted on the varsity team as a sophomore and led the team in wins last season with 18. Unfortunately, Kehoe is out for the season due to a torn ACL that she had surgery on in early August.

“Kirsten Muller is coming out this year, and there is supposed to be a girl from Spain coming,” House said of the depth of the tennis roster. “I am optimistic about the season. They are a great bunch of gals!”

Claire Stark was No. 4 singles in 2021 with nine wins. She will be the top returning singles player as a senior this fall. Lydia Fynboh and Liz Pollard were No. 3 doubles team last season with seven wins and return as the top returning doubles team this fall. Both are seniors. Ashley Koehl and Karlie Bruns return as juniors with varsity experience as well.

Also new to the program is junior varsity coach Hannah Vazquez, a fifth grade teacher at West Central Area. Kelly White moved up to varsity assistant as Jaclyn Hoeper put in a leave of absence.

“Jaclyn will be missed, but we are looking forward to Hannah joining the team,” House said.

“I am honored to be joining varsity this year with Britney and we have some amazingly talented girls moving up to varsity this year. After coaching the JV girls team for the past four years, I have enjoyed helping grow our team and get these girls ready for varsity,” White said of her move up to varsity. “I am very excited about the season this year! We have a wonderful group of girls returning and many new faces.”

The Tigers kick off the 2022 season with a home meet on Friday, Aug. 19 as Belgrade – Brooten – Elrosa comes to town for a 10 a.m. start time. The busy first week continues with a Luverne triangular Saturday, Aug. 20, an Osakis quadrangular Monday, Aug. 22, and a Fergus Falls triangular Tuesday, Aug. 23.

“Whew! What a way to kick off the season,” White concluded.