With Bishop Carroll’s girls tennis team returning five of its six varsity members from last year’s Class 5A runners-up, it could be reasonably assumed that the Golden Eagles are poised to end Kapaun Mount Carmel’s string of seven City League tennis titles.
But coach Monica Peter isn’t quite convinced that’s the case.
In fact, she said she’s still working to decide who’s going to be on her varsity.
“We have 7-8 girls battling for six spots,” she said. “We definitely have some girls that are back and will be on varsity, but just because they played varsity last year doesn’t mean they’ll be on varsity this year.”
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Peter said this is a time for girls to step forward and grab.
“We’re in a process of playing matches to determine that,” she said.
The Eagles begin their season Saturday at the Collegiate Classic. Peter said she’ll have a lineup ready, for now.
“Will that be our final lineup? I don’t know,” she said.
Chief among Carroll’s returning talent is junior Courtney Lubbers, who played No. 1 singles a year ago. Peter said she envisions Lubbers keeping the No. 1 spot.
“Courtney has really been working on her game,” Peter said.
The Eagles return four seniors, including Paige Lauer, the 5A runner-up in doubles as a junior with senior Anne Feldkamp. Peter said Lauer will likely be back at No. 1 doubles with a partner to be determined.
Lauer said she has high hopes for her senior year.
“We’re looking for a good season,” she said. “Everyone’s ready to play.”
Being a senior carries some extra responsibility, she said. This will be the first year she hasn’t had an older doubles partner.
“I’m more excited to be a leader on the court,” she said.
The other seniors are Maddie Oxler, who played No. 2 singles a year ago and finished sixth in 5A, and last year’s doubles team of Mary Jo Peter (Monica’s daughter) and Lexie Dorn.
Carroll advanced both singles players and both doubles teams to state a year ago, and Peter was beaming with pride after the tournament because each player earned points in the 5A competition.
Lubbers said she’s excited for the prospects of this season, but mainly for her senior teammates. But she also has another reason to enjoy this coming season. Her twin sisters, Natalie and Nicole, are freshmen.
Finishing second in 5A to Kapaun fueled the fires for Carroll, Oxler said.
“It definitely made me know that we’re capable,” she said. “The talent has increased this year, and we have a better chance (of a title) this year.”
Peter said the girls are getting along well from the start.
“It has been enjoyable,” she said of the first practices. “I like the camaraderie and the team chemistry. They are willing to work and enjoy each other, and that’s fun for the coaching staff.”