Girls tennis: Big turnout, deep team hits courts for Sequim in ‘17

Spring sports preview: Girls tennis

Head coach: Justine Wagner (fourth year)

2016 finish: 9-7 (fourth in Olympic League 2A); one singles alternate to districts

Top returning players: Stephanie LaCour (sr.), Katie Wake (sr.), Hannah D’Amico (sr.), Isabelle Hugenoit (so.), Amanda He (so.), Ashley Rosales (so.), Tea Gauthun (jr.), Cortney Gosset (sr.)

Newcomers: Paola Brondo Torres (jr.), Emily Bundy (so.), Ella Christiansen (sr.), Brianna Cowan (fr.), Amber Dietzman (jr.), Jessica Dietzman (fr.), Kaylee Dunlap (fr.), Derartu Francis (so.), Chloe Goldate (fr.), Autumn Hilliard (fr.), Audrey Hughes (jr.), Corinne Klinger (fr.), Arlene Law (so.), Eva Lofstrom (fr.), Anna Miehe (jr.), Kristina Mingoy (fr.), Kayli Prorok (fr.), Liliana Rayon (jr.), Nadia Rayon (fr.), Mazie Whitteker, Mercedes Woods (sr.)

Key league competition: North Kitsap, Bremerton, Kingston

It isn’t often that a pre-team can return a solid corps of players and reload for the future at the same time.

But that’s what fourth-year Sequim head coach Justine Wagner sees, however, with her girls’ tennis team this season. Wagner had a healthy turnout of 19 players last spring, but saw that jump to 30 in 2017.

That crew includes an experienced roster led by Stephanie LaCour, Hannah D’Amico, Katie Wake, Tea Gauthun, Amanda He, Ashley Rosales and Isabelle Hugenoit, SHS’s top placer (sixth) at last season’s Olympic League tourney.

Add to the mix two athletic seniors who are newcomers to the team in Merceds Woods (track) and Ella Christiansen (volleyball, basketball), plus another 11 prospects from the freshman class.

The incoming crew helps Sequim make up for losing longtime varsity star Karen Chan, a state 2015 competitor.

“I’m feeling pretty optimistic,” Wagner said of the 2017 Wolves.

North Kitsap (14-0 in 2016) once again looks to be the class of the Olympic League, Wagner said, but she expects Sequim to be in the upper quarter of the league standings.

“North Kitsap is extremely deep (but) we might take a couple of wins off of them.”

Bremerton, Kingston and Port Angeles — whom Sequim swept in 2016 — also figure to give the Wolves strong competition.

Returning as assistant is Wagner’s father Mark Textor, a longtime Sequim coach; the two reverse head coach/assistant roles in the fall to lead the Sequim boys’ team.

“We have a nice rapport; we’ve developed a system and it just works,” Wagner said.

Sequim was scheduled to open their season March 13 at home against Olympic.

The Wolves are at North Mason on March 15 and Coupeville on March 16. Sequim hosts Bremerton on March 21.