Shawano, Clintonville eager to hit courts

Both teams feature young rosters with plenty of potential
By: 

As the 2018 girls tennis season gets underway, both the Shawano and Clintonville teams will be striving for improvement.

Neither team had a player advance through subsectionals last year, but both teams return plenty of experience to the courts this year.

Among Shawano’s returning players are juniors Isabella Buettner and Lydia Dobberstein, who have plenty of varsity experience. Karelyn Malliet is the team’s lone senior with any varsity experience.

Juniors Alana Krolow, Chloe Krueger, Annalyse Wilber and Haley Williams along with sophomores Anna Cuenca and Grace Licausi will also be among the Shawano players filling out the roster.

While coach Matthew Zoll has yet to determine the flights the athletes will be placed in, he knows regardless of where they compete, each of the players will put in the time to improve.

“The group of athletes we have are hard working, good character kids,” Zoll said. “They get the most out of the resources available to them to become tennis players.”

Shawano will take its fairly young roster into the Bay Conference, which has proved to be one of the best around.

“We have one of the better conferences in our area. Last year our conference produced several state qualifiers between New London and Xavier,” Zoll said. “Every year is a new adventure in our conference, with Xavier traditionally at the top.”

Shawano will compete in the Division 1 Antigo Subsectional this year, facing the likes of Green Bay Southwest, Bay Port and Notre Dame. Any Hawks’ sectional qualifiers would then compete at Notre Dame Academy.

The Hawks open the season on Monday at Bay Port High School for an invitational.

Much like Shawano, the Clintonville team is also looking for players to step up and take the program to the next level.

The Truckers return several athletes from last year’s team, including four that will be seniors.

Senior Kelsey Keller will serve as the team’s top singles player this season while Emma Vanderbilt and Alexis Acevedo, who are both seniors this year, will form the top doubles team for Clintonville. Senior Emmalee Pocket will compete in the No. 2 singles flight this fall.

The duo of junior Caitlin Huber and sophomore Emily Acevedo also returns for the Truckers and will compete in the No.2 doubles flight.

While the team has struggled to earn wins at a consistent rate, coach Jesse Lundt likes the fight the athletes have shown even in defeat.

“Every year I expect the girls to improve their skills from the beginning of the season,” she said. “We haven’t had wins, but as the girls improve the wins will come. The girls are always in the game until the end and never give up.”

Clintonville will compete in the Division 2 Lakeland Union Subsectional at the end of the regular season, with qualifying athletes advancing to the Baldwin-Woodville Sectional.

The Truckers open the season on Aug. 20 with a match against Wisconsin Rapids Assumption at home.