‘Dogs tennis playing strong in home stretch

Lillie Reinhardt returns a serve in a match earlier this season against Roxana. To purchase this and other tennis photos, click here. (Andrea Degenhart photo)

The Waterloo Lady Bulldogs tennis team has a record of 9-2 with just two weeks left in the regular season, and with five seniors on the 15-girl squad, head coach Brett Ivers said there is no shortage of leaders on this well-balanced team.

“The freshmen and sophomores benefit from their maturity and self-control,” Ivers said. “This team is full of a great bunch of girls who work hard on and off the court.”

The girls have notched big wins against a strong Edwardsville team, as well as crosstown rivals Gibault, and firstplace Mascoutah. Ivers attributes much of their success to the work ethic of his team.

“The girls have really fought hard to maintain their positions in the lineup and have benefited from summer tournament play in USTA tournaments,” he said.

As the season enters the home stretch, staying healthy will be the team’s biggest challenge and the key to its continued success, according to Ivers.

“As the weather changes, our girls need to be prepared to change. Matches can get longer because fatigue becomes less of an issue without the heat. On the other side, if it gets too cool, the girls must fight off colds and flu bugs. In order to stay consistent their play must be consistent and that means being able to hit the courts at 100 percent each day.”

The Bulldogs are gearing up for more conference play against Mascoutah and Civic Memorial before heading into the playoffs in two weeks.

“We are going to have to make sure we are playing our best tennis going into our conference championships and into the O’Fallon Sectional,” Ivers said.

The Bulldogs travel to Mascoutah Sept. 25, and host Metro East Lutheran Sept. 26 at home.

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