North Tahoe girls tennis holds high hopes |

North Tahoe girls tennis holds high hopes

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunSenior Anja Wittels hits a backhand during practice on Wednesday. Wittels has been the Lakers' No. 1 singles player all four years.

The future looks bright for the North Tahoe girls tennis program, which returns nine players from a year ago, with seven third-year juniors.

“It’s such a full team. My freshman year we had nine people,” said Anja Wittels, one of two seniors for the Lakers. “We have 12 kids now, and we’ve been able to recruit and get more people, which is awesome, because tennis was a dying sport at our school.”

Wittels, the Lakers’ No. 1 singles player the past four years, is optimistic about this year’s squad, despite the loss of two of its top singles players to graduation.

“I think we’re awesome,” said Wittels, who had won nine of nine sets this season through Wednesday. “We have a lot of girls who’ve been with us a good three years. We’re not as strong as last year, because we had more seniors, but we’re doing well.”

The best Wittels has fared at the Northern regional tournament ” this competing against 4A programs ” is a top-8 finish. This year in the High Desert League she’s aiming for a top-3, which would qualify her to compete in the state championship Oct. 23-25.

“My personal goal is to make it to state, which I have not been able to do,” Wittels said. “I have gone to regionals all three years, though. So we’ll see this year.”

The Lakers’ other senior, Devon Vandewiele, plays doubles, mostly with junior Jamie Gross. She, too, is enthusiastic about the 2008 season.

“I love it. It’s so much fun,” she said. “There are a lot of girls who I’ll miss playing high school tennis with.”

Asked about a team strength in ’08, Vandewiele settled on “friendship.”

“All the girls on the team are out here to have a good time. There’s no drama, which is a good thing,” she said.

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