Blue Jays girls tennis team ready to go
The Jamestown High School girls tennis team began practices on April 5 and is slated to travel to Minot on Friday.
It has been almost two years since the Jamestown High School girls tennis team has hit Bollinger Courts.
"I am really excited to get back and play," JHS head coach Paul Olson said. "Our unofficial motto for the year is: we will play anybody, anytime, anywhere, in any conditions.
"After losing the entire last year we are just excited to be playing again this spring."
The Blue Jays began practices on April 5 and are slated to face Minot in a 3-2 format match Friday at 4:30 p.m.
The Blue Jays lost two players to graduation last season - Erin Gee and Olvia Listul - but the Jays have returned the rest of the team's top-10 who are now all juniors and seniors. Olson said due to losing last season, the Jays have focused on reinforcing the basics
"We (have been) going over some really fundamental things with the girls, starting with footwork and building up from there," Olson said. "Really, we are just reinforcing that base (because) without playing competitive matches, you're pretty quick to lose it."
Olson said he has a handful of volunteer coaches this season who will help give team members some extra guidance. Olson said the coaches are going to divide athletes into smaller groups for drills in an effort to gain more time on the court. With extra coaches on board, Olson said the Jays will have the chance for some more one-on-one training. Each athlete is being allotted a weekly 30-minute private lesson.
While the extra time on the court and individual attention will help develop and refine swings and serves, Olson said he is feeling good about his 2021 squad.
Senior Cora Wolsky is slated to round out the Blue Jays' top 3, while Mia Wilson will start off the season at the fourth spot. Maleeka Kramlich is coming out as the Jays' No. 5. There will be five juniors competing for the Blue Jays' 6 through 8 spots.
Co-captain Lauryn Hibl will start off her senior season at the No. 2 spot.
"Lauryn has this great calming effect on the team," Olson said. "As a sophomore, she was one of the more mature players on the team and is a good leader for us. On top of that, she's a really good doubles player and it's nice to have that at the top of your lineup."
Junior Phoebe Olson will once again be on top of the Jays' lineup. Phoebe is a two-time state qualifier, first as an eighth-grader and the next season as a freshman.
"She had really made some pretty big jumps going into her sophomore year and has continued to do that," Olson said. "She won more than 20 matches at the No. 1 as a freshman so it's kind of nice to have that at the top of your lineup. I am feeling good about the depth."
While Olson has a good idea of what the Blue Jays are capable of, the head coach said he doesn't know what to expect from other teams across the state.
"Matches are going to be really interesting," Olson said. "We have a pretty good idea of what Mandan's lineup is going to look like but other than that, across the state, the consensus among coaches is that once you get past every team's first couple players, we don't have much of an idea what people's lineups are going to look like.
"We're just excited to be playing again," Olson continued. "Coming back I am looking forward to seeing how they look as players this spring."