Tennis: Tigard girls have deep, balanced squad in 2020
The Times' spring sports team preview stories are being written with the hope that teams will safely be able to return to action sometime this season. As of right now, school is suspended through April 28, so there can be no athletic contests until after that date, at the earliest.
The pieces are there.
Now, the Tigard High School girls tennis team is just looking to put them together.
The Tigers, with what looks to be plenty of depth, leadership and balance, is looking for good things if they can return to action sometime during the 2020 season.
We have a little over 40 girls on our roster this year and lots of seniors on varsity," Tigard coach Kelsey Wahl said. "I started head coaching four years ago, so this year's seniors are the first group I've had since they were freshmen. It's been really exciting to watch them grow on the court. In addition to our strong seniors, many of our other varsity players have been putting in hard work in the off-season and I can already see huge improvements."
Tigard does have some key returnees back from last year's team that finished in fifth place in the team standings at the Three Rivers League district tournament.
Senior Emma Parker returns to play at No. 1 singles for the Tigers. Last year, Parker won one of her three matches at the TRL district tournament.
Tigard has three other returnees that picked up a district tourney win last year. Senior Priscila Orozco teamed with junior Kennedy Peery to pick up a district win in doubles play last year. Junior Abby Gilliat also had a district victory in doubles competition last year.
Freshman newcomer Alyssa Thoren, whose older brother, Alex, played at No. 1 singles for the Tigard boys team last year, could see action in either singles or doubles play this year.
"She's looking quite strong," Wahl said.
Senior Citlali Nieves Lira and junior Sophia Freebury will play as a doubles team for the Tigers. Other players who could see varsity action for Tigard include junior Emily Sverdrup, sophomore Haley Cabrera, senior Summer Thompson, senior Ellie Dodson, senior Ellie Noyes, sophomore Songha Nguyen and sophomore Kate Schaures.
"Emily Sverdrup, Haley Cabrera, and Summer Thompson have made big gains," Wahl said.
Dodson, Nieves Lira and Sverdrup will serve as the team's captains this year.
"They've been doing a great job so far keeping the team unified and excited for the season," Wahl said.
As for the Three Rivers League this season, the Tigers are ready for the competition.
"The TRL is strong, as always, but many of the top players have graduated," Wahl said. "I think it'll be a little more open than it has in the past, but you never know when some amazing new players will arrive. I also appreciate all the coaches in the TRL who keep large teams so we have lots of JV competitions. I know other leagues aren't always like that. We have some great programs over here and it's fun to watch the girls develop their skills. We're excited to start match play, which hopefully happens soon."
Tigard's first regularly scheduled match following April 28 would be a league home match against West Linn on April 29.
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