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Girls tennis preview: Sequim looks for title repeat
A big team is a happy team and a team full of talent is a coach’s dream dilemma.
First-year head coach Justine Wagner has just that on her hands with 29 girls turned out this spring.
“There’s been a lot of changes but if it goes anything like last year things should go well,” Wagner said.
The Wolves (13-0) last year won the Olympic League title and lost key players Anna Prorok, Hillary Smith and Tenisha Powless to graduation. However, several of Sequim’ top talent returns including junior Hannah Gauthun, senior Melanie Guan and sophomore Karen Chan, who all earned all-league honors in 2013.
Doubles team Gauthun and Prorok earned the third seed at the Olympic League Meet before winning the fifth seed from the West Central District III region into the class 2A state tournament. They went 0-2.
Gauthun primarily played singles in 2013, going 7-2.
Chan and Guan won the fifth seed from the Olympic League meet to earn a shot at a play-in game at the districts tournament; they went 1-3. They went 8-1 as a doubles duo in 2013 during the season.
Wagner said Chan and Guan probably worked on their games the most in the offseason participating as a doubles team in a few tournaments.
Going into this season, Wagner just shored up her lineup this week after the girls challenged each other for top spots on the ladder, a team ranking determining varsity and junior varsity matches, stacked at the top.
Wagner said some new students along with Heidi Stallman, a senior, will fill in the gaps by last year’s best players. Stallman won seven matches in doubles play in 2013, usually playing No. 2 doubles with Gauthun or Maggie Christie. To start the season, Christie, also a senior, who won four doubles matches last season, will play No. 1 singles.
Sequim’s toughest competition seems likely to come from Kingston again. The Wolves edged the Buccaneers 4-3 in the 2013 season’s final match to secure a perfect 12-0 league and overall mark.
Wagner takes over both the boys and girls teams this year, stepping in for her father Mark Textor, a Sequim Middle School teacher who is on leave from the school district, teaching and coaching in South America.
She said it’s a bit easier for her to coach the girls’ team than the boys.
“I kind of understand them (the girls) better. I can tell when they’re having a bad day,” she said.