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Lady Wolves prepare for their court reign

Lexi Baylis joins the Lady Wolves. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
April 06, 2011 - The girls held onto their rackets as they served back to their teammates last Thursday.

The cold temperatures plagued the first outdoor practice for the girls Clarkston High School Girls Varsity Tennis team. But the girls were red-hot for the season to begin after finishing last year in seventh place at the MHSAA Division 1 State Finals.

"We are so excited," the girls said together in a chorus.

Though the girls don't officially start the season until they come back from spring break - they already put their skills to the test in their first scrimmage at Holly on March 25.

"After two rounds of plays on all eight courts we had only lost once," said Coach Becky Freeman. "We did win the third round."

With their first match set for April 14, the girls shared their thoughts and goals going into the season.

"I personally expect us to go on to states and place pretty high," said Freshman Dana Olsen, making up one half of the Doubles #1 team. Her twin sister Paige will make up the other half.

"We are going to try our hardest to win states," said Senior Kristina Lucas, who finished as State Champion in Singles #3 last year.

Players also returning to playing in the single matches are junior Katie Brozovich, last year's State Runner-up in Singles #2 and junior Gabby Spindler. Joining them is Freshman Lexi Baylis.

Junior Abbey Hubregsen, who played Singles #4 last year, is now on Doubles #2.

Freeman is looking forward to seeing what her doubles can do this season.

"Our doubles have just gotten stronger this year," she said. "We have always had strong singles and weak doubles. We don't have anything to worry about singles and we have strong doubles. I am looking forward to the doubles stepping up this year. I really have great problems. The best kind of problems to have."

"We have been training every day and going against each other," said Paige, getting ready for the fierce competition in front of them.

"We have had intense training," Lucas added.

As they train and have their eye on the state finals, they are also focusing on their individual goals.

"I want to improve my game," said Paige.

"I want to place as well as I can," added Dana.

"I want to play to my potential," Brozovich said.

They are also looking forward to going against their league foes, especially West Bloomfield in their first home match on April 28 and Seaholm, April 28.

They are anxious to go against Ann Arbor Pioneer and Midland, which they could see at the state finals.

The team also includes sophomores, Mackenzie Bedor, Jordan Stuart, Monique Zentner; juniors, Olivia Dunn, Alaina Nido, Allyson Wilson, Amy Wozniak; seniors, Anna Gencay and Courtney Parkhill.

The girls play at Andover High School on April 14, 4 p.m.

"We cheer really loud and hard for each other," said Lucas. "We are the cheerleaders and the players."

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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