Co-head coach: Cindy Walz, eighth year; Jen Waldorf, first
Assistant coaches: Lindsey Kaiser
2006 record: 11-10
Seniors: Lauren Eno, Karma Wasserzieher, Molly Burman, Kristi Cummings; Juniors: Kelsey Klucas, Alice Browning; Sophomore: Alli Carlson
Junior: Ellen Raushel; Sophomores: Nicole Beneke, Elizabeth Matson, Miranda Paulson
Prognosis: The Gobblers return their No. 1 and No. 2 singles players in juniors Kelsey Klucas and Alice Browning. Both advanced to the Section 7-1A finals last season and should contend again this year.
Aitkin also returns seniors Lauren Eno, Karma Wasserzieher, Molly Burman and Kristi Cummings and sophomore Alli Carlson.
"I have high expectations with so many letterwinners come back especially Alice and Kelsey," said Gobblers head coach Cindy Walz. "They did well in the sections last year. They're both coming back and they are only juniors. They've both been on varsity for three years and are quite the athletes."
Walz likes the versatility her team presents with players being comfortable in both singles and doubles play. That versatility and experience will come in handy in the formidable Section 7-1A.
Head coach: Sandy Tautges, first year
Assistant coaches: Andy Williams
Section: Section 7-1A
2006 record: 15-6
Seniors: Mary Bill, Ana Sharp, Molly Sand, Juniors: Hanna Christenson, Kaitlyn Risnes, Liz Johnson, Emily Johnson, Lauren MacFarland
Junior: Kayla Minarich; Sophomores: Kayla Sorben, Brittany Metsa, Savanah Fore, Heather Robinson
Prognosis: Sandy Tautges is no stranger to the lakes area or girls' tennis. The Brainerd High School graduate was the junior high tennis coach at Pierz last season.
She inherits a Crosby-Ironton team that returns eight letterwinners and finished 15-6.
The Rangers did graduate both its No. 1 doubles team and No. 1 singles player Brita Johnson. The No. 1 doubles team of Betsy Wehseler-Farrah Steinke placed third in last year's Class 1A state individual tournament.
"I think we're going to be a great team this year," said Tautges. "The Johnson sisters (Liz and Emily) are ready to move up into the No. 1 doubles spot and their goal is to make state. I think they'll fill that role pretty well."
Also back for C-I are seniors Mary Bill, Ana Sharp and Molly Sand. Hanna Christenson, Kaitlyn Risnes and Lauren MacFarland are returning juniors.
"I had a couple of the girls in the summer program and they've been playing tennis on their own," said Tautges. "They're looking to practice on their own with captains practices and they asked about practicing on weekends. I have a very dedicated group and that's nice to have in your first year."
Little Falls Flyers
Head coach: Greg Emerson, 10th year
Assistant coaches: Elizabeth Anderson
Conference: Central Lakes
2006 record: 1-19 overall, 0-10 conference
Juniors: Sara Peterson, Samantha Koester; Sophomores: Raina Rodewald, Jenae Anderson
Seniors: Amy Daniels, Nica Carrillo; Juniors: Lauren Thies, Anna Pfohl; Freshmen: Kaitlyn Emerson, Carmen Backowski
Prognosis: The Little Falls Flyers graduated seven seniors from last year's 1-19 squad.
Four letterwinners return, including junior Sara Peterson who should see action at No. 1 singles.
"We only have 19 girls on the squad with a fairly young roster," said Flyers head coach Greg Emerson. "We graduated seven girls, we have a new assistant coach so we're a young team all the way around."
Also back for Little Falls is junior Samantha Koester and sophomores Raina Rodewald and Jenae Anderson.
"A lot of the girls playing will see action in both singles and doubles," said Emerson. "We don't expect to finish anywhere near the top of the conference because we are young and pretty inexperienced at the time."
Head coach: Karla and Mark Jensen, 13th year
Assistant coaches: Diane Hauan
2006 record: 7-11
Seniors: Jenny Gritzmacher (singles), Kelsey Schlichting (singles); Juniors: Kaari Jensen (doubles), Kayla Kapsner (doubles, singles), Emma Janson (singles, doubles), Hayley Bujalski (singles, doubles), Kara Kasper (singles, doubles), Mary Waytashek (doubles, singles), Rochelle Langer (doubles, singles)
Freshmen: Cassie Vanick, Erin Gritzmacher, Jayme Sczublewski
Prognosis: "This should be an interesting year," said Pierz head coach Karla Jensen. "I think a lot of teams lost a few people. I think we'll be fine."
Seniors Jenny Gritzmacher and Kelsey Schlichting will lead a junior-packed team that helped Pierz finish 7-11 last year.
Gone is the state experience of Kristin and Katie Sczublewski. Last year Kaari Jensen advanced to the Section 7-1A tournament with doubles partner Samantha Gritzmacher.
Head coach: Monica Sergent, fourth year
Assistant coaches: Brian Lempola, Lyle Steffenson
Section: Section 7-1A
2006 record: 19-3 overall, 8-1 conference
Sophomores: Megan Lenz (No. 1 singles), Angela Villella (singles), Sarah Thomas (singles-doubles), Kirstie Harmdierks (doubles), Cori Lundmark (doubles)
Junior: Molly Peterson; Sophomores: Carol Meister, Katelyn Schmidt; Freshmen: Brittany Davis, Jasmine Nordy, Natasha Gallatt, Maggie Clement, Johanna Heidmann, Sydney Needham, Rachel Dusek, Stephanie Larson, Kaitlyn Bach; Eighth-graders: Tricia Villella, Kaycee Nelson.
Prognosis: Kayla Lenz finished her prep career with 153 victories. She will play this fall at St. Mary's College in Winona. Claiming her No. 1 singles spot on the Patriots will be her sister Megan, who owns a 70-15 career record as she enters her fourth varsity season.
Last year Megan Lenz played No. 3 singles.
"We didn't have the numbers we were expecting, but the five girls that are out are all great girls with a lot of ability," said Pequot head coach Monica Sergent. "
The Patriots graduated Kayla Lenz and No. 2 singles player Joanna Larson. Angela Villella, who finished 23-3 at No. 4 singles last year, will likely claim the No. 2 singles spot.
Sophomore Sarah Thomas returns. Last year she played doubles, but could see time in the singles lineup.
"Angela has the talent, but she will have to move up far in our lineup," said Sergent. "Last year Sarah did real well in doubles. She's a great athlete and she will give us versatility in our lineup."
The No. 3 doubles team of sophomores Kirstie Harmdierks and Cori Lundmark also returns. They'll move last year's 21-5 record to the No. 1 doubles position.
"Our section looks really tough," said Sergent. "Foley was added to our section and Virginia was good last year with a young team. I think they'll be even stronger this year."
Head coach: Kevin Coughlin, 17th year
Assistant coaches: Mary Freeman, Terry Dockendorf
State qualifiers: Katie Edin (singles), Abby Edin (singles), Sara Dezell (doubles), S-M team
Seniors: Katie Edin (singles), Juniors: Sara Dezell (doubles), Miranda Milless (doubles), Julia Schock (doubles), Liz Willgohs (doubles); Sophomores: Skye Coughlin (singles), Abby Edin (singles); Freshman: Emma Koskiniemi (singles)
Seniors: Lindsay Scott, Shana Suess, Heather Gomon; Junior: Hallie Denning; Sophomores: Ashley Lisson, Caitlin Robinson, Kelly Hagenson, Savanna Hill, Annie Gillespie; Freshmen: Andrea Koskiniemi, Katie Stone; Freshmen: Hallie Olson
Prognosis: The Cardinals return eight of 10 players from last year's Class 1A state consolation championship team.
The Cardinals will not get a chance to defend their Section 8-1A title, however as they've been moved to Section 6-1A. Head coach Kevin Coughlin doesn't like the move.
"I'm very disappointed in part because we had a good relationship and respectful rivalry with a lot of those teams, like Crookston and Park Rapids," said Coughlin. "I'd like to believe we got on top of that section at the end there for a little while."
Of the eight returning, all four singles players are back, including Katie Edin. The senior captain finished third in last year's state individual tournament. Her younger sister Abby also qualified for the state singles tournament. Skye Coughlin and Emma Koskiniemi also return to fill out the singles lineup.
Sara Dezell played in the state doubles tournament. The doubles team of Miranda Milless-Julia Schock returns intact.
"I think we have a great mix of talent and passion," said Coughlin. "I stole a saying from a T-shirt and it says, 'Talent is good. Practice is better. Passion is best.' I added 'Character is everything.'
"We have decent talent. We practice hard and the key is the girls' have an individual passion for this game. The thing that defines them is we have character.
"I'm not the easiest coach to play for. I'm demanding. I expect the girls to do things right. They live up to our motto, though, and we have fun doing it."
Head coach: Darin Carstens, first year
Assistant coaches: Vicky Smith, Paul Anderson
Conference: Mid-State Conference
2006 record: 7-9
Seniors: Kayla Guck; Amber Hayes, Jackie Kramer; Juniors: Katie Anderson, Elizabeth Quincer; Samantha Eickhoff, Sophomores: Andrea Jenson, Brittany Anderson
Juniors: Brittany Ellingson, Emily Ament, Kelley Johnson, Rachel Richter, Barb Scheiding, Megan Schmidt, Kayla Mayerhofer; Sophomores: Samantha Holweger, Hanna Larson, Jessica Rinkel; Freshman: Haley Anderson
Prognosis: Darin Carstens begins his tenure as the head coach. He inherits a team that has 23 girls, including eight letterwinners from a team that finished 7-9 last season.
Back for the Wolverines are seniors Kayla Guck, Amber Hayes and Jackie Kramer. Juniors Katie Anderson and Elizabeth Quincer are also back. Both played doubles last season and Anderson saw time at No. 1 singles.
"It should be an interesting season," said Carstens. "This is my first year coaching girls' tennis."
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.
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