Viking girls tennis feeling strong
Despite losing nine players to graduation, including their No. 1-ranked singles player, No. 1-ranked doubles team, half of their No. 2 and 3-ranked doubles teams, and all of their No. 4-ranked doubles squad from a team that finished 6-2 in conference play, Forest Grove girls head tennis coach T.J. Buehler is excited about the 2018 season.
"I feel like we have entered 2018 a deeper team," said Buehler. "Our returning varsity players have come in with a pretty good chip on their shoulder after working their tails off since last June, ready to prove that they are more than ready to take the reins and carve out their own legacy."
Buehler's has 60 girls in all, 11 of whom are seniors. One of those seniors, Jacqueline Frawley, is a four-year letterman for the Viks and is assuming the No. 1 singles position.
"Jacqueline is a very consistent player who added some pace and shot-making since last season," said Buehler. "She'll be a formidable opponent for most players in our conference."
Emily Lester will be playing in the No. 2 spot, Emily Jones is at No. 3 and freshman Kim Auran will round out the singles squad at No. 4.
"Kim probably has the most natural, fluid groundstroke we've had from a freshman since I've been coaching these last four years," Buehler said. "It's really fun to watch her play."
The doubles side of things is a little more of a mystery. Buehler said they're still working out the kinks trying to find the right blend of talent and chemistry, but that he expects a lot from the teams of Tania Garfias and Maria Marti Rios, Riley Lindsay and Lexie Goodman, and their No. 3 team of Elle Morgan and Freshman Rebecca Frawley. The No. 4 spot is still very fluid, but the coach is excited about the prospect of having six to eight capable candidates to round out the final duo.
To this point, the Viking girls are 3-0-1 in non-conference duals, with wins over Liberty, Century and Sherwood, with a tie in their opening match versus Beaverton.
And how does Buehler feel they'll fare when league matches start after spring break?
"It's tough to get a handle on how we'll fare in conference this year," said Buehler. "I don't have a sense of how strong the other teams will be, but I do know that our girls will not be an easy out for any team."
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