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DL girls tennis: Laker netters continue their progression

Laker Dani Unruh returns a shot earlier this season. Unruh had a breakout season and returns next year. (Brian Basham/Record)

Progression was made for the Detroit Lakes girls' tennis team, after each meet resulted in improvement.

The Lakers saw continued progress by their freshmen and sophomores, while their outgoing seniors were top leaders on and off the court.

"This year we saw great progression and improvement from our younger kids, which is great to see for the future," said DL head coach Kris Swenson.

The Lakers' success was based out of their strong singles' play, with seniors Katie Anderson and Kathryn Kinney leading the way.

But the youthful tennis players also had solid outings in freshmen Dani Unruh and Emma Maguire.

"Dani and Emma have been here since seventh grade and I think will continue to grow and mature as tennis players and leaders on our team," Swenson said. "They will definitely have big shoes to fill with Katie and Kathryn graduating, but I know they are up to the challenge and hard work it will take."

The sophomores also showed bright, as Sydney Fritz, Emily Seebold and Devree Bunnis showed big improvement.

"I think our singles play will remain strong and getting our doubles teams established will be the main challenge with three senior doubles players leaving," the DL coach added.

DL will lose six seniors who all contributed. They include Anderson, Whitney Benscoter, Kinney, Shantel Kluenenberg, Goeun Parks and Elizabeth Steger.

"Those girls have been such great role models on and off the court, they will be greatly missed," Swenson said. "Katie (Anderson) has been a rock for us in the singles lineup and we could always count on her to show up ready to compete.

"Whitney and Shantel will be greatly missed for their enthusiasm and leadership qualities. They are hard workers who play to win every time they are on the court, they never took a 'day off' and I could always count on them on the court and off the court to lead our team in a positive way.

"Kathryn and Liz have been in and out of the varsity lineup the past couple years and have made great strides in their games, showing the younger kids what happens when you come to practice to get better and challenge players around you."

The offseason will be key for the returning players, meaning getting as much court experience as they can.

"I am very excited to have India Fritz and Emily Seebold back again next year, they played doubles together this year at the end of the season and made a great combo," Swenson said. "I think they will be our new foundation for this team next year. Along with Sydney Fritz and Devree Bunnis, I think we have a great upper class for next season that will bring lots of energy and enthusiasm."

The MVP of the team was Anderson, while Hardest Worker went to Benscoter and Most Improved to Kinney.

Next year's captains will be Seebold and Fritz.

Swenson also will be stepping down as head coach after many other commitments, including a new child in the family.

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.