CHAPMAN – Third-year head coach Christal Ade will need to replace a state qualifying doubles team from a year and she has some young but experienced talent to select from on the Lady Irish tennis team.
Junior Sophie Jones, who just missed qualifying for state last year by one match, should help anchor the singles position for coach Ade. She finished with an 11-18 record last season.
“Sophie has been working hard in the offseason to improve her game,” Ade said.
Also returning to singles will be Naliya Conteras. The Chapman junior has only played tennis competitively for two years and she finished her sophomore season with a 5-23 mark.
“Naliya played at the number one singles spot most of the season,” coach Ade said. “This spot was extremely competitive for only a second year player. I know those experiences from last year have helped her develop as she worked in the offseason.”
One of the doubles rotations should be filled by senior Elizabeth Morgan and junior Katie Jo McIlquham who return after going 10-6 in the second half of the year last season.
“Elizabeth and Katie Jo will take over the number one doubles spot this season,” Ade said. “They will bring back a lot of great chemistry. They work well together and really have that trust that a good doubles team needs. I know they are for the challenge that the number one doubles will bring.”
Graduation took the number one doubles team of Rachel Duer and Katelyn Reiff that placed at regional and qualified for the Class 4A State Tournament, but Ade expects junior Grace Mosher and sophomore Chelsey Armbruster to step up and compete for the position. Both saw varsity time last year and there is a possibility that newcomer Tiarra Martin, a senior will add depth to the team.
“Willingness to work hard and build upon our experiences is key to our success,” Ade said. “I think every girl will step in better than where she left off last season. We will continue working on consistent hitting and strong serving.”
Chapman opens the season on Sept. 5 when it hosts Abilene, Concordia and Wamego for an early season quad.
2019 Chapman tennis
Sept 5 Chapman Quad
Sept 12 at Smoky Valley
Sept 16 Chapman Quad
Sept 19 at Ellsworth
Sept 21 at Clay Center
Sept 26 at Hillsboro
Oct 1 Chapman Quad
Oct 5 NCKL at Chap man
Oct 8 at Abilene Tourney
Oct 12 at Region. TBD