The Coupeville High School tennis program, under the direction of Ken Stange, is a consistent winner, and this year plenty of talent returns to plug any holes left by graduation.
Ten letter winners are back: senior Allie Hanigan; juniors Micky LeVine, Ana Luvera, Ivy Luvera, Maureen Rice, Wynter Thorne and Julia Myers; and sophomores Jacki Ginnings, Samantha Martin and McKenzie Bailey.
They will be joined by key newcomers senior Sydney Aparico and freshmen Valen Trujillo and Bree Daigneault, according to Stange.
Hanigan held down the No. 2 singles spot last spring and is the best shot to move into the No. 1 slot.
Martin played in the district doubles tournament last year, and Ginnings, LeVine and Bailey won some varsity doubles matches in 2013.
The Luveras are “very consistent and could claim a doubles spot,” Stange said. He called Rice “scrappy” and noted that Thorne was been “playing quite a bit lately.”
Two-year letter winner Myers is ready to “reach a new level,” according to Stange, and Aparicio, who switched from softball, could “challenge for a varsity spot.”
He likes the enthusiasm of Trujillo and Daigneault, who have been practicing “even in bad weather.”
Stange likes his team's depth: “I've got bunches of returning players and my new kids seem to be eager to get out there and play.”
He's most concerned about the lack of varsity experience in the upper spots: “I've got lots of girls who have played varsity tennis, but none of them have played much at No. 1 singles or doubles. We'll have to learn by beating up on ourselves and then see what we can do against the competition.”
His expectations for the season are to improve and have fun, tossing in it would “be nice to take it to the Falcons.”
Those Falcons from South Whidbey, as always, should be the team to beat, Stange said. He also expects strong competition from Blaine, Granite Falls, Archbishop Murphy and Port Townsend/Chimacum.
“We play Lakewood and Friday Harbor, too,” he added. “We fared well against those teams last year and we should hold our own again this season.”
The season starts at 4 p.m. Monday, March 17, when Port Townsend visits Coupeville.