Letter winners anchor tennis team

Posted 2/24/09

Coach Jim Tucker lists varsity match experience as a strength and he expects the Englewood High School girls tennis team to experience quite a bit of …

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Letter winners anchor tennis team


Coach Jim Tucker lists varsity match experience as a strength and he expects the Englewood High School girls tennis team to experience quite a bit of success in the upcoming 2009 season.

The team began practice Feb. 17. Daily practices are after school on the high school courts.

The coach said he is pleased with the turnout this season. On Feb. 19, Tucker said 32 girls signed up for the team but so far, 24 or 25 have turned out for practice.

During the Feb. 19 session, the coach has athletes expected to see varsity playing practice sets while he focused his time on about a dozen first-time players, helping them learn tennis fundamentals. He noted it was chilly and there was a brisk breeze but he wanted his players to get in as much practice court time as possible because Colorado spring weather is unpredictable.

Tucker said he is trying to schedule a scrimmage later this month but, whether or not that happens, the Pirates will open this year’s schedule on the road March 3 at St. Mary’s Academy. The matches begin at 4 p.m. The first home match is at 4 p.m. March 5 against Denver West.

This year, as usual, the varsity will play their home matches on the courts at the northeast corner of the high school building at 3800 S. Logan St.

But, because large cracks have developed in three of the courts at the high school, for the first time in school history, the junior varsity matches will be played on the Belleview Park courts. Belleview Park is at 5001 S. Inca St.

All regular season tennis matches are open to the public and there is no charge for admission.

Englewood posted a 6-6 dual meet record last year and the coach said his returning veterans should help the team have a better record this season.

Tucker said the most likely varsity singles lineup will be four-year tennis team veteran Kelli Mowrey at No. 1, her sister Chelsie Mowrey, a three-year team veteran, at No. 2, and Hannah Houser, a four-year team veteran, at No. 3.

However, he noted they will have to win matches with challengers including Corrine Winthrop and Crystal Andrewkowski to keep their positions

The doubles lineup isn’t set but the coach said the probable doubles teams for at least three will be returning letter-winners Lauren Watson and Ariel Herrera, Corrine Winthrop and Sofia Rivera and April French-Mack and Mary Winters.

If all these teams win the challenge matches to move into the varsity lineup, Tucker will have to form just one more doubles team to fill out the varsity roster.

Junior Ariel Herrera joined the tennis team this spring for the first time.

She said the only sport she has every played is basketball and she decided she wanted to do something different, something that didn’t involve putting a ball through the hoop.

Herrera said she finds tennis fun, except she doesn’t like the chilly weather she experienced the first two days of practice.

“I think the season will be fun,” the junior said. “I thought it would be harder to learn the fundamentals than it has been so far. So, I think we’ll have a pretty good team, we will have a lot of fun and I am excited because I am going to play doubles with my best friend Lauren Watson.”

Teammate and returning letter winner Sofia Rivera also will be playing doubles.

She said she played a lot of tennis with her dad, enjoyed being part of the team last year and wanted to continue the experience this season.

Rivera said she hasn’t played tennis since last season but she is working to regain the skill level she had at the end of last year. She said she can either play the net or the baseline but prefers the baseline.

She also said she comes into the season in good physical condition by running cross country in the fall and being a member of the girls swim team during the winter.

“I am really looking forward to the season,” she said. “I think we’ll do pretty well as a team, win some matches and I think Corrine [Winthrop] and I will make a good tennis team. We haven’t played doubles together before but we know each other because we were both on the swim team. I think it helps to know quite a bit about your partners when your are on the court together as a doubles team.”


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