The Wyoming East girls are the most experienced of the county’s tennis teams, and their record reflects that.
East was 13-0 through last week’s matches.
“All of our seeded players are back,” said Warriors coach Angie Boninsegna. “They’ve been playing well.”
The singles line up features Erika Kissel, Kara Kissel, Allie England and Hannah Tolliver.
In doubles, the Kissels play at the No. 1 seed. England teams up with Carlie Canada at No. 2, and Tolliver plays with Megan Seaton at No. 3.
Erika Kissel has qualified for state each of the past three years.
“I feel like I’ve been playing well,” she commented.
Each year has given her a chance to improve, she said.
From learning about the game as a freshman, she improved her serve as a sophomore and worked on setting up points as a junior.
Now, she says, she feels like she has the tools to succeed.
The top four No. 1 seeds move on to state. Kissel says the strongest competition will come from players at Oak Hill, Bluefield, Charleston Catholic and Liberty.
“I think she’s stronger and shows good leadership,” Boninsegna said. “She works well with Kara on doubles.”
Boninsegna says Kara Kissel “is hitting the ball better and has good ground strokes.”
England was a state qualifier last year in both singles and doubles. “Allie has a good serve and is playing mor aggressive at the net,” the coach remarked.
Boninsegna said Tolliver “has a really strong serve.”
On the boys team, Noah Quesenberry is the only returning seed and is playing at No. 1.
“He played No. 2 last year, so that’s a pretty big jump,” the coach said.
No. 2 seed Tyler Roberts is a first year player and “is very athletic,” Boninsegna observed.
Sophomore Dalton Hill plays at No. 3, and “is getting better every match.”
Ben Lane plays at No. 4 “has a lot of quickness.”
Quesenberry and Robert play No. 1 doubles. Hill and Lane are at No. 2. Dylan Workman and Shane Tilley play No. 3.
WHS coach Dennie Rose says his teams are “a mix of people who have played before and people who are new to the game.
“Some of the young players have picked it up pretty good,” he stated.’
The girls team is led by Nol 1 seed Jessica Wrobleski. “She started playing last year and hits the ball pretty good,” Rose said.
Makaleigh Stacy is the No. 2 seed. “She understand the game,” the coach commented.
Sydney Toler, a second-year player, is at No. 3. “Her footwork has improved a lot, and she hits the ball well,” the coach commented.
Freshman Molly Cook plays at No. 4 and is catching on quickly.
Wrobleski and Stacy play No. 1 doubles, followed by Cook and Toler.
Summer Bartram has been playing exhibition matches for the Renegades.
Levi Connor is the No. 1 seed for the Renegade boys. The coach says he “has played fairly well.”
No. 2 Mitchell Blackburn “is having a good year” and narrowly missed going to state last season.
Justin Perry, a second-year player, is at No. 3. “He’s a lot better than last year,” said Rose.
Thomas Collins plays at No. 4. “He’s a first year player and picked the game up right away,” the coach remarked.
Blackburn and Connor team up at No 1 doubles. Collins and Perry play NOl. 2.
With young players, Rose said, a key is learning to be in the right position to hit the ball. “If you don’t move until the ball has crossed the net, it’s too late,” he noted.
Rose, who has coached tennis since 1001, says assistant coach Sherry Walker is a big help.
“I couldn’t do it without her,” he stated.
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.