With six seniors on the roster this season, the Hood River Valley High School varsity girls tennis team is working to improve on last season’s rebuilding effort that concluded with a fifth-place league finish.
The team played matches last week against 6A Gresham and Sam Barlow to kick-off its 15-match schedule, and although both were filed as losses, coaches are optimistic for the season.
“We’ve got a great group of girls and some seasoned players this season,” said Justine Ziegler, who is co-coaching the team with Leslie Kerr. “It’s pretty hard to say how we will compare, but we have the depth to do pretty well this season.”
Senior Emilee Ziegner returns as the team’s No. 1 singles player after finishing out last year narrowly missing a trip to the state tournament with doubles partner Emily Roberts. Ziegner is accompanied by fellow seniors Claire Rawson, Petra Knapp, Sophia Oswald, Vanessa Sandoval and Anna Guemperlein in both singles and doubles categories.
“In addition to our seniors, we have some young talent that will be exciting to follow,” Ziegler said. “Olivia Newcomb is a freshman that has made our varsity lineup and is impressive for such a young player. We’ve also got an awesome doubles pair in Naomi Greenwald and Elisabeth Webb (both juniors). Those two have chemistry on the court that works really well.”
Ziegler said a top-three finish in the district would be a good result. The team is part of 5A Special District 1, which incorporates Columbia River and Intermountain conference teams into one league.
HRV vs. Gresham
Emilee Ziegner: 6-0, 6-0 loss
Claire Rawson: 6-4, 6-3 win
Miranda Starr: 7-5, 6-3 win
Maddy Graham: 6-0, 6-0 win
Sophie Oswald and Vanessa Sandoval: 6-0, 6-1 loss
Petra Knapp and Naomi Greenwald: 6-2, 6-4 loss
Emma Cameron and Siena Harlin: 6-4, 6-2 loss
Hannah Bergemann and Olivia Newcomb: 6-1, 6-4 loss
HRV vs. Sam Barlow
Emilee Ziegner: 6-2, 6-0 loss
Petra Knapp: 6-0, 6-0 loss
Miranda Starr: 6-0, 6-0 win
Olivia Newcomb: 6-0, 6-0 win
Sophie Oswald and Vanessa Sandoval: 6-0, 6-4 loss
Claire Rawson and Anna Guemperlein: 6-2, 6-4 loss
Naomi Greenwald and Siena Harlin: 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 win
Emma Cameron and Hannah Bergemann: 6-0, 6-1 win