Experience lies in Hornets’ doubles

Morgan Johnson is one of the Hornets returning to the court.

Enumclaw High girls tennis coach Rick Carel called the conclusion of the 2008 season “phenomenal.”

He started the season with two returning seniors who had experience and six athletes who had never played a varsity match. The season concluded with two Hornet doubles teams at the state-feeder West Central District 3A tournament and the team earning its second straight Class 3A state academic championship for its 3.90 grade-point average. The Hornets also finished third in the South Puget Sound League 3A with a 10-3 record.

Taylor Hart and Gabby Engelhard, who were named to the South Puget Sound League 3A first team, were one of those teams and they have both graduated. The Hornets also lost Rebecca Stevenson to graduation; she was part of the second team that made a district appearance. Also gone are Claire Anderson and Haeli Landry-Evans.

Returning for the Hornets with experience and a zest to succeed are Anna Nelson, Lauren Redmond and Morgan Johnson.

In preseason practice, Carel also notes Julie Sanders, Breanna Pierce and Amanda Oster are likely to step up from the junior varsity program.

Carel said he needs eight to round out the two singles and three doubles teams necessary to compete. With plenty of girls on the court those decisions will be made as the season gets under way.

“I always have such nice kids,” Carel said. “And that’s exciting.”

Carel has some time to work out his lineup. The Hornets don’t start the season until March 18 against Yelm, a nonleague contest. They follow that at 3:30 p.m. March 20 with a South Puget Sound League 3A match with Peninsula. Other than the addition of Peninsula, Clover Park and Lakes to the league, and the move of Auburn and Auburn Riverside, who took the top two league spots last season, to the 4A classification, both varsity and junior varsity teams will play at the same site this season.

Reach Brenda Sexton at bsexton@courierherald.com or 360-802-8206.