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Jays heavy at the top

With just three days of outdoor practice under its belt, the Jamestown High School girls tennis team will open its season today.

Coach Pat Mullowney has a young, inexperienced team. But that’s part of the challenge he said, much like not having an indoor facility to use like the schools in bigger cities have.

“Those are all excuses and we don’t even want to spend time worrying about it,” Mullowney said. “We have a good group of kids. They’re committed. They’re working hard. It’s all part of building the program and we’re excited about it.”

The Blue Jays open against West Fargo today on the road with three experienced players returning in seniors Erin Mullowney and Jenna Reed and sophomore Bailee Graves. Maria LeFevre, another senior, has seen limited varsity time, but will get more this season.

“We’re still figuring things out with our lineup. After the top three spots, things are in flux and we’re still seeing how it all shakes out, but the girls are competitive. They’ve already made some nice improvements and we’ll certainly learn a lot more here the next couple of days,” Mullowney said. “We’ve got some kids with experience. We have some intermediaries and some beginners, but that’s exciting too in terms of trying to lay the foundation for not just this season, but the future.”

Erin Mullowney and Reed both have ample singles and doubles experience, but will be counted on to take the step up to the top of the singles lineup. Same is true for Graves, who impressed last season as a freshman.

Sophomores Renada Krenzel and Taylor Webber along with freshmen Medora Pringle and Megan Larson are in the mix for varsity spots. So too are eighth-graders Kaitlin Mullowney, Pat’s other daughter, and Payton Hoggarth.

“It’s fun to see kids come out for the sport even if they don’t have the background that some of the other kids do,” Mullowney said. “You always like to see kids out there competing and being active and trying to better themselves.”

Mullowney, who also coaches the JHS boys tennis team, was pleased with the offseason work his players put in. More can always be done, but he said it laid a solid base.

“We had some kids take lessons. We started a summer league that I thought was good for us. ... As a coach, you always want more, but both in terms of what the kids did in the summer and over the winter, a lot of good things got accomplished,” he said. “It sets us up to where we feel good about things starting the season. We know it’s always going to be a challenge, but if we can get a little better every day and refine the necessary skills, we can have a successful season.”

Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at

 (701) 952-8460 or

Dave Selvig
Selvig has been a sports writer at The Sun since 1999 and sports editor since 2009.
(701) 952-8460