Shawano girls tennis team hoping for big season with core returning

Hawks hope to land in top four in Bay
Morgan Rode
Sports Editor

SHAWANO — The Shawano Community High School girls tennis team heads into the fall season with experience on its side.

The Hawks return all but one letter-winner from a season ago, giving coach Matt Zoll plenty of familiar faces to turn to. The coach has set a team goal of finishing in the top four in the tough Bay Conference.

“A lot of the work is what the girls put in during the offseason. We had a lot of girls show up for open gym and a lot of girls showing up for things over the summertime,” said Zoll on what it will take to have a strong season. “The hope is, as a player, that you are putting in more time than the other girls in the conference are. That you are giving yourself the opportunity to have a successful season when it comes to wins and losses.”

“As far as having a successful season, these girls are looking forward to just having a good time this year, enjoying playing tennis with this group of kids and every day getting better at the game of tennis.”

Zoll said while many of the athletes had played a significant number of matches in the past, that didn’t automatically put them back in the same singles or doubles flights this year.

Senior Bella Buettner is expected to serve as the team’s No. 1 singles player after competing in that spot last season. Buettner was the lone Shawano player to earn all-conference honors a season ago, making the second team.

Buettner knows the challenge that awaits as she goes up against every team’s best individual player, but is ready for the challenge.

“I think a lot of it comes from practice. Practice how you play. So you practice hard, really focus in practice, make sure you’re always giving 100%,” said Buettner. “And then the mindset, not only mentally preparing yourself, but physically preparing yourself too.”

Senior Peyton Beurman, junior Anna Cuenca and sophomore Rylie Anderson all have experience as singles players and could be in line to fill the No. 2-4 spots this season.

In doubles play, the team of senior Lydia Dobberstein and junior Grace Licausi is back and expected to be the top doubles team again.

The senior teams of Alana Krolow and Annalyse Wilber and Chloe Krueger and Haley Williams are options to fill out the other two doubles teams.

“This year during the summer, I was putting in more work,” said Dobberstein. “I want this senior year to be the best year and I’m hoping all the other girls were thinking that way too and they want to put in the work to be successful.”

After competing in the Bay, Shawano will take part in the Division 1 Notre Dame Subsectional. Any qualifying singles players or doubles teams would advance to the Manitowoc Lincoln Sectional.

The Hawks will open the season competing in a two-day invitational at Bay Port High School on Monday and Tuesday. Shawano’s first home match will come Sept. 10.

“The excitement level is really high,” said Licausi on the upcoming season. “There’s no issues with our team, we are all really close. We understand boundaries and how to work together as a team. And that’s big in tennis because this isn’t an I sport, even though you might play singles by yourself. It’s a whole team thing and you can’t be an individual player in tennis, you have to be working together.”