Canby girls tennis coach Natalee Evans wants more doubles communication, and team to show heart

ARCHIVE PHOTO - Canby senior Diana Krishchenko returns to the tennis court to battle it out with the best the Three Rivers League has to offer. Krishchenko lost a tough match against Beaverton in the teams opening contest. 
Canby—The girls tennis program is one of grit and determination. The Cougars do not practice with professional tennis players or get in a lot of preseason training relative to their competitors, but if there is one thing the girls do have is a stick-to-it attitude.

Just ask Canby girls tennis coach Natalee Evans. Evans is high on the gumption her girls display match in and match out.

"These girls do come out in the summer months, and they do practice hard," Evans said. "I want them to know that they don't give up, even if they're behind a whole set. They step up and get it done. We never quit."

The team got off to a rough start on Thursday, Mar. 15, coming up short against a fresh opponent in Beaverton. While the loss hurts, coach Evans is still positive that her girls are going to have a strong showing in the upcoming season.

"It wasn't what I wanted but I feel like we're going to have a really good season," Evans said. "I think we're either going to really strong in singles or we're going to really strong in doubles. That's usually how we are. It's always really been that singles have been our powerhouse, but I have a feeling doubles are going to take on that role this year."

The Cougars are going to have a tough road ahead. The Three Rivers League contains tennis team's standouts West Linn, Lake Oswego, and Lakeridge, historically dominant teams. While the girls on Canby's team might not be as technically skilled as their counterparts, the Cougars are more than a match in terms of athletic talent and dogged perseverance.

"We have girls that are, even though tennis isn't their first sport, they're athletic girls that play other sports that want it so bad they're aggressive about it," Evans said. "We may not look like the professional, but we fight until the end, and that's what I love about this team."

There are areas the team needs to improve, according to Evans. Particularly, aggression towards the net, and communication for the doubles teams.

"I think with our doubles, the teamwork needs to get better," Evans said. "They need to talk to each other, they seem like they've gotten really quiet this year. It's been one of the top things on my list is having these girls really start communicating better with each other."

"We want our serve received and our serves to really step up," Evans added. "We want to be more aggressive at the net, we are not going to sit back and be a defensive team, and we're going to be more on attack mode. That's my number one goal that they're attacking instead of trying to win. We want to make that shot to win instead of hoping that we'll win."

Canby played Wilsonville on Friday, Mar. 16 after the Herald went to press.

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