Tennis team fills out roster with 10 players
You need 10 tennis players to form a team. Four singles players and three two-person doubles teams.
The good news for Blue Earth Area boys tennis coach Konny Wolff is that she has exactly 10 boys out for tennis this year. Just enough to form a team.
The bad news is they are from seventh thru 12th grade and some of them have very little tennis experience. The good news for all of them is they all will get to play this season and gain a lot of varsity experience.
“We lost our No. 1 and No. 2 singles players from last year,” Coach Wolff says. “Hunter Myers was our No. 1 and he graduated and our No. 2 was exchange student Leon Chaudrai.”
With only two practices under her belt for this year’s tennis season at the time of this interview last Wednesday, Wolff admits she is still a bit unsure of where every one of her 10 players will fit in.
“Chandler (Kienitz) was our No. 3 singles player last year and I expect him to move up into the No. 1 spot,” Wolff says.
Kienitz is a junior. The coach expects the two seniors on the team, Martin Granados Jr. and Jaron King, to also step up and help lead the team, possibly at the No. 2 and 3 singles positions.
The Bucs have two new players who just came out for tennis this year. Junior Adam Buseman was out for track last year and sophomore Dylan Herfindahl was previously out for baseball. Both could figure into the Bucs’ success this season.
“I watched Dylan and his form was good and he hits the ball hard over the net,” Wolff says. “He could be pretty good. Same with Adam. It is just hard to tell this early in the season.”
There are also three freshmen on the team Spencer Petersen, Mason Hehr and Spenser Timmerman.
“These three ninth graders are really improved,” the coach says. “Not just from last year but from when they started as seventh graders. And they have varsity experience.”
Rounding out the team is eighth grader Parker Kienitz and seventh grader Jonathan Hill. Kienitz has some varsity experience from last year and Hill is already showing some promise, Wolff says.
The Buccaneers have an extremely tough schedule this year, coach Wolff points out.
“We open with a match on April 14 at Luverne,” she says. “Luverne is already ranked No 10 in state in their class.”
After that the Bucs will host Austin on Monday, April 20, then hit the road to take on Worthington, Waseca and Albert Lea, all large schools. They will have four home matches in a row, facing Redwood Valley, St. Peter, New Ulm and St. James. The season ends with a trip to Fairmont and then St. James again for a tournament.
It will get no easier in post-season play.
“We have been moved to Class 1A,” Wolff explains. “We are in a pretty tough section with Winona Cotter, Fairmont, Rochester Lourdes, St. Peter, Stewartville, Waseca and St. James. Lourdes, St. Peter and Waseca are all rated in the top 10 already in the preseason poll.”
While the competition ahead will be difficult for the team, both the coach and the 10 players are eager for some nice weather so they can get outside and play some tennis.