2023 Spring Sports Preview: Boys’ and Girls’ Tennis Capsules for the Greater Spokane League
From personnel reports
Capsules for 2023 Greater Spokane League boys’ and girls’ tennis teams.
Teams listed in alphabetical order. Records and tables of the 2022 season.
Central Valley: There are eight letter winners in the boys’ roster for first-year coaches Connor Busch, but it’s too early in the season to predict roles on the team. “We don’t have seniors, but we had great teamwork and spirit in the early training sessions,” he said.
Shaun Williams is taking over as girls coach with six winning letters and three starters, led by district alternate junior Kalley Shelby. “We’re younger and have less experience in doubles,” Williams said, “but we have young players who will improve as the season progresses.”
Cheney: The Blackhawks’ boy team brings back seven for sophomore coach Dan Estock, including senior singles Hunter Passey and Connor Gall.
Linnea Love is back for her second season coaching the girls team with just three letter winners, led by All-GSL Honored Mention Colleen McKinnon, who will play doubles. Angelica Goodold is a transfer from Mt. Spokane that could make a difference.
Ferris: The Saxons were hit pretty hard by the finish but have four recurring letter winners for fourth-year coach Jim Utzinger with seniors Brennan Roshetko and Cameron Lee at the helm.
Gonzaga Prep: Shane Sandlin is the new boys coach with seven letter winners to work with. #1 Singles Ryan Dougherty will be a leader.
The girls team went 10-0 last season for coach Jason Chapman, who is entering his fourth season with seven returning starters, including state-qualifying singles Juliet McFarland and doubles Kate Palelek and Carly Walton – all seniors.
Lewis and Clark: The Tigers boys were third last year for veteran coach Tobin Phelps entering his 21st season and are returning five including regional singles qualifier senior Everett Skubinna and doubles qualifier junior Bridger Cloninger. “We’re returning great leadership, along with quite a bit of varsity matchplay,” Phelps said.
Kate Burns returns for her second season as girls coach. “For the third year in a row, we’ve graduated more than half of our varsity players,” she said. “We want to gain playing experience with this year’s young team.”
Mead: The Panthers boys were unbeaten in the league for third-year coach Bryce Borland, but only two letter winners are returning, seniors Andrew Parker and Drew Champlin, who qualified for the state in doubles but are in the will play individually. “Our goal is to play high-percentage tennis, which leads to a lot of success on our courts,” Borland said.
Jon Wrigley is entering his 21st season as coach, his second with the Panthers girls team. Junior Ravenna Byrd, a state alternate and All-League pick, is one to watch along with doubles teams Lizzie Hardy and Rylee Lupton.
Mt. Spokane: The Wildcats lost many contributors last season, but All-League doubles player Lucas Trigg is back in his senior season for coach Dustin McConnell, his sophomore year as head coach. “The returnees saw what success looked like in 2022 and how solid and consistent play can lead to success,” he said.
Third-year girls coach Jacob Fry lost 11 letter winners by graduation so there are plenty of opportunities for players to improve. “Our undefeated JV team will reshuffle our roster this year,” he said, noting that several volleyball players also came out. Junior Ava Weishaar and senior Rowan Janda have an early lead.
North Central: Brina Carrigan is the new girls coach with five recurring letter winners. “We have some strong returnees,” she said. “But we also have a lot of new players who will fill varsity slots.”
Ridgeline: Boys basketball coach Freddie Rehkow doubles as a tennis coach and has 10 letter winners back for his sophomore season. “Last year 13 of our 17 players had never played competitive tennis,” he said. “This group has worked hard and has high expectations.” Tyler Baker, No. 1 in singles, was a first-team All-GSL and a state qualifier.
The girls team brings back nine for coach Russ Tarmann, including state qualifier Avery Lewis and fellow seniors Cassidy Kuhlmann and Charley Palm.
University: Dan Tenney takes over as boys coach with six letter winners led by regional doubles qualifier Senior Saxton Schultz and No. 1 Singles Senior Matthew Claypool. “Great attitude and hard-working guys,” Tenney said, noting that the JV team returned 10 players, four of whom were promoted.
Julene Osborn enters her 20th season as girls’ coach with seven recurring letter winners including Kailee Alteneder and Rebecca Coe, who will play in singles but finished eighth in doubles last year.
Clarkston: John Kowatsch returns for his eighth season with the Bantams and 16th overall. Six letter winners are back, including All-League singles seniors Nathan Gall and Aiden Schnatterle. “We’re building up our numbers slowly,” said Kowatsch, “but we have a great group of guys who are character-wise willing to work hard and get better every day.”
The Bantam Girls bring back seven letter winners for fourth-year coach Margie Denton, including second-team All-GSL seniors Maddie Kaufman and Taryn Demers. “We’re going to be competitive this year as we’re about 14 deep,” Denton said.
East Valley: Tom Griner enters his second season as girls’ team leader and has only had three letter winners back, including No. 1 sophomore in singles Fasai Xiong. “We have real team synergy and a family environment,” Griner said, noting that the Knights have three exchange students from Europe on the team.
Pullman: Cody Wendt’s district champion boys team went down 13-0 last year and returns with state medalist Vijay Lin. “We have a wide range of experienced and accomplished players,” said the coach in his seventh year. “I think we have an excellent opportunity to field medalists in both singles and doubles in the state.”
Seventh-year girls coach Dan Vollmer has 10 letter winners and seven starters back, including 2A state champion Rhoda Wang, who is just a sophomore. “We’re solid in singles,” said Vollmer, noting the completion of top doubles pairing Audrey Pitzer and Renee Sun, who finished seventh.
Rogers: Ninth-year boys coach Miles Moffitt has four starters back, including first-team All-GSL Aiden Bui and second-team Nikko McDowell. “Our top six guys are super strong and have put in a lot of work,” said Moffitt.
The Pirate Girls’ main returnees are seniors Weiying Su and Joanne Avila. Coach Stephanie Garrett praises her team’s positive attitude, fitness and commitment.
Shadle Park: Adam Poush and Scott Stalder are assistant coaches on the boys’ team led by first-team All-GSL junior Benson Plaster, ranked No. 1 in singles. “Our strength lies in our junior class,” said Poush. “I look forward to the future of the program.”
Shahid Quidwai returns for a sixth season as girls coach with six winners including Danielle Cozzetto, No. 1 overall league singles. “With all our starters, we hope to be able to fight for the championship title,” said Quidwai.
West Valley: Boys coach Ned Fadeley is back in his seventh season with 10 repeat winners including All-GSL No. 1 singles sophomore Conner Kunz. “We want to build on last year’s competitive team with some exciting newcomers,” said Fadeley.
The girls are led by No. 1 doubles team Carlie Knapp and Sutton Nordus, who qualified for the state last year. “We’re a young team with a lot of potential,” said first-year coach Blake Lynd.