The Cedar Springs Red Hawks Varsity Tennis team has been steadily improving their stats as the season slowly begins to warm-up in weather and match results. This past week, the varsity girls defeated Coopersville, Sparta, and swept West Catholic. The season has not been weather friendly, and two Saturday tourneys and some non-league matches had to be canceled. Practice was often indoors or outside in some blustery conditions. Despite this, the varsity has posted a respectable 5 wins 3 losses and 2 ties for the season. The league tournament is this Saturday, with regionals at Ludington on May 19.
Playing #1 singles is Brooke Gust. She is currently 2nd in the league and has a dual record of 9-2. She has added some pace to her game and mental toughness that has enabled her to maintain a high level of play. Following Brooke in the lineup is seniors Mackenzie Frederick at #2, and Brittany Lenardson at #3 singles. Mackenzie has 8 wins and 3 losses, and Brittany is 9-2, with a 5-match winning streak. Both play with great patience and are able to adapt their games to defeat different types of opponents. Senior Ellen Pike is #4 singles, and is a 2nd year player that gives the team a valid competitor at #4.
The doubles teams are led by seniors Amber Dunham and Jessica Naffziger. The #1 girls have five match wins with the latest against West Catholic, coming back from a 5-2 deficit to win 7-5, 6-0. They have improved each week, like the whole team, with top results. Following are #2 doubles Paige Gebhardt and Samantha Alger, with a 5-2 record and 4-match win streak. They have sound ground strokes and that inner drive to compete at a top level. Jessica Blackmer and Kristen Bull make up #3 doubles are on a 6-match win streak. Jess, a sophomore, and Kristen, a freshman, blend together well and complement each other with their skills in competition. Below them at #4 doubles are freshmen Megan Brunett and Shannon Leal. They have 4 match wins, with the latest 6-0, 6-0 against West Catholic. Following them are the #13 and #14 girls senior Amber Barnes and freshman Samantha Durkee.
The team has some big challenges ahead being positioned in 3rd place in the OK-Rainbow conference after duals. The team need to have a good day at conference on Saturday, May 14. The tennis year, despite the weather disappointments, has been one of gradual improvement in tennis skills and match competitiveness. Coach Kennedy credits his captains jess Naffziger and Brooke Gust for their leadership, and the rest of the seniors—Amber D., Brittany, Mackenzie, Ellen, and Amber B. for helping to move the team forward this year.