The high school girls tennis season is off to a strong start locally with Waterloo and Gibault both serving up early wins.
Waterloo, coached by Brett Ivers, is 3-0 to start the season following victories over Granite City, Jerseyville and Civic Memorial last week. The Bulldogs won 9-0 over Granite City, edged Jerseyville, 5-4, and topped Civic Memorial, 6-3.
The success comes despite limited returning varsity players from last year.
“We have just two players with varsity experience,” Ivers said.
Haley Storm, a senior, is at No. 1 singles. Kailey Walter, a sophomore, is at No. 2 singles. Both saw limited action in 2019.
“(They) are playing great tennis in the top spots of singles and form our top doubles team,” Ivers said.
Another sophomore, Teagan Nodorft, “has made huge strides and is playing great” at No. 3 singles, according to Ivers.
Rylee Ivers is at No. 4 singles and teams with Nodorft at No. 2 doubles.
Rory Bradley and Maria Willson, both seniors, play at No. 5 and No. 6 singles, respectively.
“They have grown every year with the program and now get an opportunity to play in the lineup,” Coach Ivers said.
Some players just outside the main lineup for Waterloo that are pushing to help this season, according to Ivers, include senior Erin Chaffin, sophomore Katie Williams, senior Anna Stiening and junior Mary Brinkmann.
Gibault is 1-1 on the season under new head coach Becky Kane.
The Hawks opened with a 7-2 win over Metro-East Lutheran on Aug. 20, despite sitting one of their top players, Macy Schneider due to a recent hip surgery.
“With her playing singles when healthier, the team will be even stronger,” Kane said.
Maria Biske stepped up at No. 1 singles for Gibault and won 6-0, 6-1.
Biske teams with Schneider to also win at No. 1 doubles, 6-4, 6-0.
Maddie Davis, who also stars in soccer and basketball for the Hawks, won at No. 2 singles and teamed with Grace Busch to win at No. 2 doubles.
Mary Ellen Koeninger won at No. 4 singles and paired with Hadley Schneider for a victory in No. 3 doubles.
Hadley Schneider clinched the team victory with her win at No. 5 singles.
Sydney Simonton won at No. 6 singles using a reliable serve and groundstrokes.
“She even finished the match with an ace,” Kane said.
“We will continue to work on things but I am pleased they have something to feel good and positive about,” Kane said about the opening win.
Last Wednesday, Gibault lost 5-4 to Granite City.
Davis and Koeninger won their singles matches and Macy Schneider/Biske and Hadley Schneider/Koeninger won at doubles for the Hawks, who battle Belleville East on Wednesday and Roxana this coming Tuesday.