Aiming high: Ronan netters capitalize on strengths
RONAN — Despite losing much of his team to graduation last year, Ronan tennis coach Gordon Cummings hopes his team will have a breakout year.
“This year’s girls team is very young and inexperienced,” Cummings said. “Last year, I graduated six seniors, so I lost a lot of experience and five girls who went to state last year.”
Just the same, Cummings said his girls squad has “a lot of promise.”
“My goals for the year for the girls are that I’d like to see them work on getting a good, solid ground strokes and progressing toward state. I want them to make some noise at state,” Cummings said. “(To get to state), they just need to gain experience and learn the court — how to move on the court.”
Even though the season just started, Cummings was hopeful for the future after seeing his team on the court March 28 against Mission.
“Some of my younger players did very well,” he said. “It was great watching them get out there on the court and hit.”
On the boys’ side, Cummings lost all four singles players to graduation, including his No.1 player, Hunter Shima, who took second at the state tournament last year. Even so, Cummings said he’s got quite a few promising young players and the returning No. 1 doubles team.
“(The boys doubles team) has improved quite a bit over the summer,” Cummings said. “Guys to watch are our No. 1 doubles team Tyler Anderson and Daniel Aylesworth. They’re both juniors and have played together for the past three years. They communicate well; they’re good friends; they support one another; and those are key components for playing doubles.”
Sarah Anderson, fresh off a one-year break from tennis, said she loves the sport because anyone can play tennis throughout life; enjoying tennis doesn’t require you to join an organized sport.
“I would like all the girls to go to state and for us, as a team, to do really well ... show that we shouldn’t be overlooked as a team,” she said.
Anderson said the season is going very well even though they’ve only had a few games, “but I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”
As the No. 1 singles player, Anderson “has good court sense, understands the game and has a nice, solid forehand-backhand,” Cummings said.
Returning doubles partners Tyler Anderson and Daniel Aylesworth will be a team to watch. Tyler, Sarah’s brother, said his goal for the season is to place at state with doubles partner Aylesworth.
“We’ve been partners for three years now, went to state last year and we’re looking forward to going back,” Anderson said. “We want to go deep in state ... we’re a pretty solid team.”
Ronan vs. St. Ignatius, March 28
St. Ignatius 3, Ronan 3
Karl Daniels (M) def. Ronnie Cullis 6-4, 6-4
Katz Yelsa (M) def. Logan Soukkala 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 6-1
Fisher Shima (R) def. Rob Erickson 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
Troy Bontrager (M) def. Tallon Fortine 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
Daniel Aylesworth/Tyler Anderson (R) def. Chris Camel/Andrew Esslinger 6-1, 6-1
Joey Dresen/Ethan Blevins (R) def. Brandon Conko/Jamie Mullins 6-2, 6-4
Kayla Billette (SI) def Sarah Anderson (R) 6-4, 6-4
Briar Ahlborn (SI) def Amber Quequesah (R) 6-1, 6-2
Cierra Dougherty (SI) def Hannah Bird Ratter (R) 6-2, 5-7, 6-1
Robyn Mitchell (SI) def Hannah Kiehn (R) 6-2, 6-0
Brianda Jackman/Daisie VandenBos (SI) def Samantha Ashley/Shannon Saint (R) 4-6, 6-4, 6-1