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Sugar House Journal

Expectations high for Rams’ girls tennis team

Sep 07, 2018 15h46 ● By Jana Klopsch

Shannon Maughan is one of three seniors on varsity this year. She will play No. 1 doubles with Lauren Mayeda. (Photo courtesy Christopher Elsholz)

By Josh McFadden | [email protected]                 

With four returning starters and a pair of freshmen phenoms, things could be looking up for Highland girls tennis.                 

The Rams had two singles players and a doubles team participate at state last season, but neither of them picked up a victory. Head coach Jeanine Elsholz is excited about this season and the progress her team has made.                 

Highland’s top individual players might be freshman Dylan Lolofie. She nailed down the No. 1 singles spot in her first year in the program. Fellow freshman Kate Creamer will also see time on the court in doubles matches. Another underclassman, sophomore Sophie Hastings is new to the team and has already made her presence felt by securing the No. 3 singles position. Meanwhile, Isa Huhane returns after suffering an injury last season. She was a No. 1 singles players last year but only saw action in three of the team’s 15 games. She’ll be the varsity team’s No. 2 player this year.                 

“[Lolofie] loves the game and spends a lot of time improving her skill level,” Elsholz said. “The addition of the new girls has made our team deeper and more competitive than we were last season.”                 

At the doubles positions, seniors Shannon Maughan and Lauren Mayeda will play at the No. 1 slot. Sophomore Abby Bradford and Creamer will be at the No. 2 doubles position.                 

Interest in tennis has grown significantly at Highland, evidenced by the 42 players on the squad. The team also has 13 new players who are blending nicely with the returners. Elsholz also said her players are dedicated and give it their all.                 

“I like that this team takes competing seriously and always give their best effort,” Elsholz said. “We have a great mix of seniors and younger players this year. I love to see the new girls already having fun with the game and wanting to put in extra time to improve. They have been really dedicated this summer and their enthusiasm for the game is contagious.”                 

Elsholz hopes her players can build on last season’s representation at state. She has confidence the team will continue to improve and even contend for a region title.                 

“I expect our team will be able to compete with top teams and players,” she said. “We are hoping to be able to place near the top of our region and state classification. I am expecting the entire team to qualify for state. With our new additions we can get everyone there this year.”                 

Of course, winning consistently and coming out on top against top competition requires more than fundamentals and tennis skills. Elsholz knows her team will achieve its goals if they have the right mindset and do the things she has asked them to do at practice and in games. Some of her players have even played year-round.                 

“This season will be a success if we work hard to keep improving throughout the season and give our best effort in every match,” she said. “We can't control the outcome of our matches, but we can always control our attitude and effort level. If we give our best effort in practice and during matches, this season will be a success.”