DL still young, but talented after good 2009 season
The groundwork was laid for the Detroit Lakes girls' tennis team, after one of their most successful seasons in more than several years.
The 2010 Lakers hope to build on that foundation from 2009 and depth is now becoming a strength, instead of a liability.
The team had 18 student-athletes out for the opening day of practice, a number DL head coach Kris Omberg is encouraged in seeing.
"The numbers are up and I'm excited about that," Omberg said. "We do have eight to 10 returners with at least a little bit of experience coming back, too."
The Lakers also have one of their top singles players back in senior Joelle Langworthy, who earned a trip to the Section 8-1A individual tournament last year, the first DL player to do so in quite some time.
Langworthy and sophomore Katie Anderson will form a solid one-two punch at No. 1 and 2 singles.
"Joelle has been around forever and has been our cornerstone for a long time," Omberg said. "Katie saw a lot of time working on her game during the offseason, after seeing lots of action as our third singles player last year.
"She's one of those players who hangs on and finds a way to win the match."
Junior Lauren Johnson will be slated as a third or fourth singles player, along with sophomores Whitney Benscoter and Shantel Kluenenberg.
Seventh grader Danielle Unruh, who's father coaches the Fargo North tennis team, will also be in the mix, Omberg said.
"We are still young, but they have experience and are not new to the varsity level," the DL coach said.
A trio of Lakers return with good doubles seasoning, including senior Tess Hamre, junior Brianna Seebold and freshman India Fritz.
"Brianna (Seebold) is a good athlete and she has been working over the offseason," Omberg said. "Tess has been a doubles player for a long time and has been solid, while India is hitting the ball well and looks confident with her shots."
A new addition is eighth grader Emily Seebold, Brianna's sister, who has the "same tenacity as Bri has."
There are also a wealth of younger players vying for spots throughout the season, as well.
After a fast start last year, Omberg feels this year's team can also surprise some competition, as well.
"I think we have a good chance to sneak up on some teams," Omberg said.
The Lakers open the season Wednesday, with a road match in Staples-Motley beginning at 9 a.m.
The home opener will be Thursday, with Perham visiting, starting at 5 p.m.
The 2010 Detroit Lakes girls' tennis schedule:
25 at Staples-Motley
3 Fergus Falls and Thief River Falls
9 at Wadena-Deer Creek
14 Bemidji and East Grand Forks
18 at Park Rapids
21 at Bemidji
5 at New York Mills
9 Sub-Section tournament
12 Section tournament
14 Section tournament
26-29 State Tournament.