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Joelle Langworthy returns as the Lakers' top girl's tennis player this season. (Brian Basham/DL Newspapers)

Laker tennis team hopes to learn from last year's mistakes

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sports Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

There were some bumps during the 2008 season which will hopefully, in turn become a learning lesson for the young Detroit Lakes girls' tennis team.

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Numbers were down and experience thin as the Lakers had to live and learn through last year's schedule. But the good news is, the Lakers did learn.

"We were just surviving and getting through the season," said DL head coach Kris Omberg. "This year, we have set some goals to win some more matches."

Confidence has already been raised after a scrimmage in Little Falls, where DL beat their section opponents the Flyers, 4-3.

"That gave the girls confidence and showed them they can win in the section," Omberg said. "There is no target on us, we don't have anything to lose."

Some dedicated off-season work will also pay dividends.

Junior Joelle Langworthy had a solid summer, playing in camps and going through the speed and strength camps held at DL High School.

She will be the favorite to play DL's No. 1 singles slot, while senior Justine Haukebo will see No. 2 duties.

"Justine has come a long way (in the) last year," Omberg said. "Now, we'll concentrate more on her game strategy and ball placement."

With more players out this season, Omberg has more flexibility to move girls around the singles and doubles matches.

Those vying for singles positions include eighth grader Katie Anderson, junior Becca Ask and sophomore Lauren Johnson.

"Anderson and Johnson are both backboards, they hit everything back," Omberg said. "Becca has good experience in both singles and doubles, as well."

The doubles is still a question mark, with several younger players looking to fill those voids.

Sophomore Tess Hamre adds some experience, while depth will be added by several seventh and eighth graders.

First-year player Brianna Seebold will bring athleticism to the team, as well as depth.

There will not be a junior high team this season, thus allowing Omberg and assistant coach Danielle Pesch to offer more hands-on training to the younger players.

"I don't think it will be a negative effect not having a junior high program," Omberg said. "It allows us to have them up here, and we can work with them more."

The Lakers will open the season Wednesday at Staples-Motley and at Perham Thursday.

Laker schedule

The 2009 Detroit Lakes girls' tennis schedule:

August

26 at Staples-Motley

27 at Perham

September

1 Detroit Lakes Invite

3 at Park Rapids

4 Fergus Falls

10 Wadena-Deer Creek

15 Bemidji

19 at Park Rapids

22 at Bemidji

24 Perham

October

1 at Moorhead

3 Bemidji

3 Alexandria

10 at Staples-Motley

20 at St. Cloud Apollo

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