If bloodlines count for anything, this season’s Maize girls tennis team could be poised to go a long way.
The Eagles return one player from last year’s varsity six, but senior Tiffani Holman has two state-tournament appearances and took third at regionals last year.
That experience will come in handy, coach John Anderson said.
“We lost five of our six players from last year (all qualified for Class 6A state),” he said. “Tiffani’s a two-year state qualifier. Her older sister was a state qualifier and state medalist in doubles.”
Holman’s athletic background comes from her parents. Her father, Brad, pitched for the Seattle Mariners in 1993 and since 2002 has worked as a pitching coach, currently with the Round Rock Express, the Texas Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate.
Tiffani said that her mother, who played tennis in college, introduced her to tennis and coached her growing up, but her father also had a hand in her game as well.
“He always relates how the serve is like how a pitcher throws a baseball,” she said. “He always tells me different mechanics, like ‘You have to have your front arm out and have that balance when you serve. And also with overheads, how a player in the outfield would reach for the ball and how it came in.”
Her father, a North High graduate, also plays tennis with her in baseball’s offseason, Tiffani said.
“That’s something we like to do when he gets home is go out and hit,” she said. “That’s a family thing that we like to do.”
Joining the Maize varsity full-time this season is sophomore Mandi Copp. Like Holman, her father also excelled at a sport other than tennis.
Darren Copp won the Kansas Amateur golf tournament in 1987, and his athletic background influenced his daughter, she said.
“As my sister (Lauren) and I got to an older age, my sister went more toward golf because of my dad, and my friend actually got me into tennis,” Mandi said.
“We made this little deal. She said, ‘You teach me how to play golf, and I’ll teach you how to play tennis.’ ”
Guess who made out better on that deal.
“Tennis is a lot easier to learn than golf, so it didn’t really work out for her, but it worked out for me, and I’ve been playing ever since,” Copp said.
That sits well with her father, too, Copp said.
“I’m sure part of him wishes I was a pro golfer, but he’s one of my biggest fans for tennis, and it’s nice to know I have his approval,” she said.
Anderson said both players are on the cusp of reaching their potential.
“It’s not that they’ve underachieved,” he said, “but they haven’t quite reached what their potential could be. I was telling them, ‘You guys have parents who have been athletically successful at a pretty high level. Talk to them. Get that next little edge as an athlete so you can elevate yourself one more level.’
“I think they could utilize that as an advantage.”
AREA PLAYERS TO WATCH
Andover – Dohee Lee, jr.; Grace Ball, jr.; Robyn Fritze, sr.; Caitlyn White, sr.; Madi Hearne, sr.
Andover Central – Claire Calvert, sr.; Allie Little, sr.; Colby Fugit, jr.
Arkansas City – Hannah Klaassen, sr.; Brittany McBride, jr.; Bailey Benton, jr.
Augusta – Lauren Fernz, sr.; Sydney Grimm, sr.; Britt Johnson, sr.; Libby Richey, jr.; Hayli Scholl, sr.; Taylor Werner, jr.
Buhler – Jessican Steffen, sr.; Kendra Nachtigal, jr.; Michaela Esau, so.; Lucy Mann, so.; Addi White, so.; Harley Martin, jr.
Campus – Amanda Zavala, sr.; Ariel Williams, jr.; Kaylen Davis, jr.
Circle – Alli Gahagan, sr.; Jessica Morgan, sr.; Kendra Wicks, jr.
Collegiate – Hannah Osland, sr.; Allie Lindwall, sr.; Emiloy Ramsey, sr.
Conway Springs – Kalie Jones, jr.; Erica Ebenkamp, jr.; Sabrina Bellar, so.; Tiffany Wilson, sr.; Ashley Oneal, sr.; Sam Koch, jr.
Derby – Ashley Sherrow, jr.; Mackenzie Hughes, sr.; Tiffany Voss, sr.; Isabella Smith, jr.
Eisenhower – Carly Williams, sr.; Marina Stutzman, jr.; Madi Watkins, so.
El Dorado – Arika Bieberle, sr.; Delaney Taylor, jr.
Goddard – Sharon Gary, jr.; Dori Freund, so.; Sydney LeFevre, so.
Independent – Anna Riedmiller, jr.; Nicole St. Clair, sr.; Winnie Shaw, so.
McPherson – Ellea Ediger, jr.; Rachel Ivers, jr.
Maize South – Emma Queen, so.; Paige Moyer, so.; Brooke Bulloch, jr.; Cali Despommier, sr.; Alayna Macias, jr.; Elizabeth Cole, jr.
Smoky Valley – Katie Bellah, jr.; Emily Roets, jr.; Jade Soukup, sr.; Ally Karber, sr.
South Barber – Sabrina Hughbanks, jr.
Sterling – Jessica Thorpe, sr.; Mac Thrasher, sr.; Kaci Wilson, sr.; Veronica Norez, sr.; Lindsay Gilmore, jr.; Maddie Thrasher, jr.; Katie Comley, so.
Trinity Academy – Savannah Elliot, sr.; Kristin Keene, sr.;
Valley Center – Carly Espinosa, sr.; Chloe McNiel, sr.; Courtney Sayers, sr.; Rachel Binau, so.; Jacque Toews, so.; Elle Kabler, jr.; Abby Musgrove, jr.
Wellington – Madison Adams, sr.; Ryleigh Buck, sr.; Mekenna Adams, so.
Winfield – Jenna Groene, sr.; Megan Powell, sr.; Mallory Meier, sr.; Sarah Hammer, jr.
GIRLS TENNIS SCHEDULES
27 – Northwest at Heights, 4 p.m. 29 – Carroll, Maize, Arkansas City, Trinity Academy, Wichita Independent at Collegiate Tournament, 8 a.m. 31 – West at North, 4.
1 – Carroll at Heights, 4; North at East, 4; Kapaun at South, 4; Northwest at West, 4. 3 – East, Goddard, Collegiate, Buhler, Conway Springs, Hesston at Maize Invitational, 3; West, Valley Center, Eisenhower, Derby, Newton, Douglass, Great Bend at McPherson Invitational. Heights at Southeast, 4; Carroll at Northwest , 4. 8 – Southeast at West, 4; Kapaun at North, 4. Heights at East, 4. 9 – Northwest at South, 4. 10 – West at Carroll, 4; South at Heights, 4; Kapaun at Northwest, 4; East at Southeast, 4. 12 – South, Arkansas City, Campus, Douglass at El Dorado Invitational, 9:30 a.m. 14 – Northwest, Goddard, Winfield, Pratt, Eisenhower, Collegiate at Maize South Invitational, 3; East at Kapaun, 4. 15 – Kapaun at Andover Central quad, 3; Heights at West, 4; South at North, 4; Southeast at Carroll, 4; East at Northwest, 4. 17 – Carroll, Kapaun, Andover Central, Goddard, Campus, Newton, Winfield, Maize South, McPherson, Wichita Independent, Wellington, Andover at Arkansas City Invitational; Northwest, South, Southeast, Collegiate, Hutchinson at Derby Invitational, 3; West at South, 4; North at Southeast, 4. 21 – East at West, 4; South at Carroll, 4. 22 – Kapaun at St. Thomas Aquinas Invitational. Northwest at North, 4; Carroll at East, 4; Heights at Kapaun, 4; Southeast at South, 4. 24 – East, Derby, El Dorado, Wichita Collegiate, Campus, Newton at Winfield Invitational; Carroll, Andover Central, Valley Center, Trinity Academy, Collegiate, Augusta at Andover Invitational, 3; North at Heights, 4; Kapaun at Southeast, 4. 26 – Carroll at Collegiate Invitational, 8 a.m. 28 – Heights, Winfield, Andover Central, Wichita Collegiate, Andover at Eisenhower Invitational, 3; East, El Dorado, Trinity Academy, Wichita Independent, Circle, South Barber at Wichita Collegiate Invitational, 3; West at Kapaun, 4; North at Carroll, 4; Southeast at Northwest, 4. 29 – South at East, 4; Carroll at Kapaun, 4.
1 – Heights, Newton at Hutchinson Invitational, 10 a.m.; 3 – Carroll, East, Heights, North, Northwest, South, Southeast, West at GWAL tournament, Coleman Tennis Center, time TBA. 10 – Regionals, TBA. 16-17 – State tournament, TBA.
27 – Maize South, Buhler, McPherson, Trinity Academy, Smoky Valley at Hesston Invitational; Chaparral, Pratt at Lyons Invitational. 29 – Arkansas City, Maize, Carroll, Independent, Trinity Academy at Collegiate Classic, 8 a.m.; El Dorado, Winfield at Independence Invitational.
1 – Eisenhower, Conway Springs, Buhler at Wellington Invitational, 3 p.m.; Hesston, Pratt at Hillsboro; Smoky Valley at Ellsworth. 3 – Buhler, Goddard, Collegiate, Conway Springs, East, Hesston at Maize Invitational, 3; Andover, Circle at Nickerson Invitational; Derby, Eisenhower, Newton, Valley Center, West, Douglass at McPherson Invitational; Hutchinson at Salina Central Invitational; Andover Central, Arkansas City at Emporia Invitational; Chaparral at South Barber Invitational; Hillsboro, Pratt at Sterling Invitational. 5 – Arkansas City at Salina Central dual. 8 – Maize, Eisenhower, Maize South, Conway Springs at Valley Center Invitational, 3; Andover, Derby, Arkansas City, Campus, Winfield, Trinity Academy at Newton Invitational, 3; Collegiate, Chaparral, Kingman at Wellington quad; Augusta, Collegiate at Andover Central quad, 3. 10 – Andover, Hutchinson, Maize, Kapaun, Trinity Academy, Goddard, Valley Center at Collegiate Invitational, 3 p.m.; Augusta, Buhler, Andover Central, El Dorado, Wellington at Circle Invitational, 3; Hesston at Smoky Valley. 12 – Campus, Arkansas City, Douglass, South at El Dorado Invitational, 9:30 a.m.; Andover Central. Hillsboro, Independent, Collegiate at Hesston, 9 a.m.; Arkansas City, Hutchinson, Goddard, Maize, Maize South, McPherson, Newton, Valley Center at Salina Central Invitational; Wellington, Chaparral, Kingman, Sterling at Pratt Invitational, 9 a.m.; Smoky Valley, Hillsboro, Andover Central, Independent, Collegiate at Hesston Invitational; Derby at Emporia Invitational. 14 – Eisenhower, Goddard, Collegiate, Winfield, Pratt, Northwest at Maize South Invitational, 3. 15 – Maize, Circle, Valley Center, Collegiate at Goddard Invitational, 3; Andover, Emporia, Kapaun at Andover Central quad, 3; Eisenhower, Wellington, South Barber at Conway Springs Invitational, 3. 17 – Eisenhower, Hutchinson, Collegiate, Northwest, South, Southeast at Derby Invitational, 3. Campus, Andover, Andover Central, Goddard, Maize South, McPherson, Newton, Wellington, Collegiate, Winfield, Independent, Carroll, Kapaun at Arkansas City Invitational, 9 a.m.; Maize South, Valley Center, Chaparral at Buhler Invitational, 3; Augusta, El Dorado, Trinity Academy at Circle quad, 3; Smoky Valley at Ellsworth. 19 – Maize, Andover, Augusta, Maize South at Valley Center Invitational, 9 a.m.; Conway Springs, Chaparral, Douglass, Trinity Academy at Kingman Invitational, 9 a.m.; McPherson, Buhler, Collegiate, Pratt, Independent, Sterling at Smoky Valley Invitational. 22 – Maize at St. Thomas Aquinas Invitational; Valley Center, Conway Springs, Smoky Valley, Circle at Hesston Invitational. 24 – Maize at Salina Central Invitational; Derby, El Dorado, Newton, Collegiate, East at Winfield Invitational, 3; Andover Central, Eisenhower, Maize, Maize South, Newton, Kapaun, Independent, Trinity Academy at Collegiate Invitational, 3; Circle, Collegiate, Independent, Nickerson, Douglass at Hillsboro Invitational. 26 – Andover, Arkansas City, Conway Springs, Derby, Eisenhower, Hesston, Maize, McPherson at Collegiate Tournament of Champions, 8 a.m.; Campus, Hutchinson, Maize, Kapaun at Emporia Invitational; Douglass, Kingman, South Barber at Chaparral Invitational, 9 a.m.; Douglass, El Dorado at Neodesha Invitational. 28 – Derby, Augusta, Maize South, Haven, Independent at Campus Invitational, Riverside Tennis Center, 1 p.m.; Andover, Andover Central, Collegiate, Winfield, Heights at Eisenhower Invitational, 3. 29 – McPherson, Conway Springs, Independent at Goddard quad, 3; Valley Center, Buhler, Wellington at Kingman Invitational, 3; Andover Central, El Dorado at Augusta quad, 3. 30 – Andover Central at Augusta, 3.
1 – Maize at Conway Springs, 3; Kingman, Douglass at Circle quad, 3; Newton, Heights at Hutchison Invitational. 3 – Derby, Hutchinson, Campus, Newton at McPherson Invitational; Andover at Topeka West Invitational; Central Kansas League meet at Hillsboro. 5 – AV-CTL divisional tournaments, TBA; Central Plains League at Wichita State, 8 a.m. 10 – Regionals. 16-17 – State tournaments.