West Linn girls tennis ready to chase TRL's best in 2018
Playing in the same league with 2017 Class 6A state champion Lake Oswego, West Linn's girls were a solid — but distant — second.
Indeed, while the Lions placed second at the 2017 Three Rivers League district tournament, they didn't qualify a player to state while the Lakers took two of four singles berths and three of four doubles slots.
This year, led by first-year varsity coaches Tracey Riddle and Buddy George, the Lions are hoping to be even closer and more competitive.
"We expect to compete for the league title and to be well represented at districts," Riddle said.
This year's team features five players who participated in last year's district tournament and will be led by seniors Gretel Rajamoney, Theresa Li, Brooke Daugherty, Mikayla Vincent and Vera Youga. Also back with district experience are junior Alyx Burkhartzmeyer and junior Caroline Grainger.
"We are fortunate to have a very deep team with lots of talent," Riddle said. "Our seniors — Gretel, Theresa, Brooke, Mikayla and Vera — will be leaders on the team."
In the singles ladder, the Lions expect to call on Li, Rajamoney, junior Hannah Vedder and Burkhartzmeyer, while their top doubles teams will include Daugherty, Grainger, Youga, Vincent, freshman Ella Gulbrandson, sophomore Montana Walsh, sophomore Sydney Sovde, junior Katie Vedder and junior Claire Griffiths.
"Our key to success is to outsmart and outhustle our opponents," Riddle said.
Also due for varsity time this year will be senior Madelynn Barton, junior Rosie Dramov and senior Megan Joerger.
The Lions, though, are well aware of the challenges awaiting in the Three Rivers League, including the reigning Class 6A state champion Lakers, Class 6A singles runner-up Lizzy Stevens of Tigard, and Class 6A doubles runners-up Melisha Dogra and Anna Lowy of Lake Oswego.
"There are many teams with strong players and a chance to take the top spots in league," Riddle added.