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Wildcats have 46 girls in tennis program, season suspended at least through April 28

COURTESY PHOTO: GREG ARTMAN - Wilsonville senior Madeleine Klein is the Wildcats top returning singles player.

After graduating one of his best singles player and at least one girl from all of his top five doubles teams, Wilsonville tennis coach Kirk Fowler does not know how this year's team will stack up.

But he hopes to find out.

"I'll be super happy when we're playing our first match," Fowler said. "That will be the highlight of the season so far. I'm looking forward to the first match, and we'll kind of adjust from there."

The Wildcats were scheduled to play their first match on March 17 at Sprague, but the spring sports season has been suspended until at least April 28 due to the coronavirus.

When or if Wilsonville begins play, the Wildcats will be led by senior Madeleine Klein, a two-time state qualifier, at doubles as a sophomore and then singles last year.

Yelena Gangelhoff, a junior transfer from Faith Bible, is also expected to play one of the top two singles positions along with Klein.

Klein, Sydney Byun, Stephanie Bashoury and Meghann Yochim lead a strong senior group.

"I really like the senior leadership we have on this team," Fowler said.

Junior Mikayla Brehm, who played on Wilsonville's No. 1 doubles team last season, also returns, along with juniors Lily Wright and Jadyn Sherry, as well as sophomore Katya Karlapati.

But the rest of the Wildcats varsity squad, which features 17 total players, is new.

"This is really a new group, but they've gelled quickly," Fowler said. "It's a great group of girls. They are really enjoying just hanging around with each other, and it's certainly a competitive group."

Wilsonville has a total of 46 girls in its tennis program, up from 34 last year.

The NWOC District Championships are scheduled for May 12-13 at Parkrose High School.

The OSAA executive board is scheduled to meet again April 1 to further discuss the spring season.

"I think we'll do well and I think we'll certainly be competitive," Fowler said. "I wouldn't trade the girls I have for anybody."

Derek Wiley
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