Going into the 2023 season, Three Forks High School Tennis Head Coach Janna Lauver expects continued improvement of individual player skills and continuous improvement as a team. After missing a Divisional title by just two points in 2022, Lauver said the Wolves also want to take that title this season.
Three Forks will open the season with 18 players, including 12 from last year's squad.
"We are thrilled to have 12 athletes from the 2022 team returning, and adding six new freshmen is a great addition to the team. We are seeing some strong athletic performances from the freshmen already. We have four spring sports now in Three Forks with the addition of Softball, so we are pleased with our growth overall and maintaining a steady team year to year," Lauver said.
The Wolves will return two doubles teams that advanced to state last year with the senior squad of Ruby Warden and Alicia Deriana and the junior team of Karin Williams and Maddie Griffiths. Lauver said both teams look to return strongly this season. They also have three returning junior singles players, Sophie Meskimen, Ali Kotter, and Sarah Christman, who Lauver said should place high at the Divisional Tournament and likely advance to state.
The varsity team will open their season on March 25 with a road trip to take on Jefferson.
"It's been tricky to get everyone to practices with so many schedule conflicts, but we should have a decent returning team to compete. Jefferson is a strong team, so we aim to get out there and play some tough matches and improve our returning players' games coming in from a long winter," Lauver said.
As far as the newcomers, Lauver said with six brand new players, they are focused the first two weeks on techniques and the game.
"None of them have played a competitive racquet sport but have other sports they play or have played. This is also a refresher course for our five returning sophomores," she said.
Early into the practice season, weather has been an issue getting the inexperienced players ready for the season.
"Snow is not our friend this year as we look at how to utilize limited access to gym space while under construction and one court in town. Right now, we have a 6 a.m. conditioning practice and two-afternoon practices where we are both training and teaching. Court time is precious and unpredictable, so the goal is to have them ready to compete by their first match on March 31 with Jefferson, Broadwater, and Granite on the three courts in Manhattan," Lauver said.
With the start of a new season, Lauver said she is excited to add her 2021 state doubles team of Kinzee Howey and Katie Hayder as assistant coaches to bring some new energy and fresh perspectives to practices and competitions. Bobby Lauver, Terri Howey, and Melissa Griffiths will remain volunteers for the team.
"Which we definitely need to keep things running smoothly," she said.
Freshmen on the 2023 team are Amanda Wilcox, Anna Dabling, Brooke Clayburn, Danni Kober, Madison Evans, and Tommi Kirwan.
The sophomores on the 2023 team are Abby Diaz, Carly Lema, Claire Cutler, Lauren Wagner, and Malia Eriksson.
The junior members of the team are Alexandria Kotter, Karin Williams, Madison Griffiths, Sarah Christman, and Sophie Meskimen.
Ruby Warden and Alicia Deriana are the two senior members of the team.