Rebels visit Rogers Aug. 22
by NICK CLARK
SUN Post Newspapers
The math really isn’t all that difficult or the Champlin Park girls tennis team.
In a sport measured largely by a best-of-seven format, all the Rebels need is for their numbers to add up to four.
Furthermore, a 25-percent winning clip in singles would do likely do it.
“If we can get one victory out of the four singles matches, I like our chances,” said head coach Luke Shaw.
The doubles set-up Champlin Park made its debut with last weekend looks to be that good, just as the singles line-up appears that raw.
Combined though, the hope is they get enough out of both to sustain a run that has seen team crack the Section 5AA final four each of the past two seasons.
The Rebels graduated each of their top three singles players from a year ago, and that trio had held those positions for three straight years.
In terms of experience in that department, senior Shannon Yurick has all of it. And that consists of all of one varsity match last year at No. 4 for the team’s current No. 1.
Junior Liz Lindgren is slotted at No. 2 singles. She was a doubles player in junior varsity last year, and moved to singles after her partner graduated.
There is some level of excitement over what could transpire at both No.’s 3 and 4 singles however, where ninth-graders Diana Glebova and Anne Bundy are currently slotted.
Both are patient players, which could prove to be a strength in the lower singles matches.
“They are the kind of players that we refer to as ‘pushers,’” said Shaw. “They keep the ball in play and they wear down their opponent and let their opponent beat themselves. At the No. 3 or 4 singles spots on varsity, that is usually the type of person that can get a lot of wins. That is all we need.”
The doubles teams should make sure of it.
The No. 1 tandem of juniors Emily Sjostrom and Jessi Kelley were Champlin Park’s No. 2 team last year and the No. 3 team in 2011, a stretch in which they combined to drop only a handful of matches.
“They’ve been really good, and this is kind of a natural step up,” Shaw said. “I think they’ll do really well there.”
The No. 2 team is junior Sam Conzet and sophomore Danielle Wolf, and the third tandem consists of juniors Michaela Larsen and Nicole Dockendorf.
Conzet and Wolf were the No. 3 team last year and nearly went undefeated. Larsen and Dockendorf didn’t play varsity, but Shaw said they were “varsity quality.”
“Our doubles teams are really strong,” he said. “And there isn’t a senior on any of them.”
The Rebels return to action this week. They played at Robbinsdale Cooper Aug. 20 and then at Rogers Aug. 22. Champlin Park returns home to host Maple Grove in the Northwest Suburban Conference opener at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27.
Contact Nick Clark at [email protected]
Champlin Park junior Emily Sjostrom returns a shot in her No. 1 doubles match with partner Jessi Kelley during the team’s home invitational Aug. 17. (Sun staff photo by Nick Clark.)