The Milbank Area girls tennis program began practice for the 2015 season Monday, August 10, under the direction of head coach Jim Dahl. The first practice ran from 9:30 a.m. to noon for athletes in grades seven through 12.
Additional practices scheduled prior to the first day of school are as follows:
Tuesday, August 11 – 9 a.m. to noon
Wednesday, August 12 – 8:45 to 11:45 a.m.
Thursday, August 13 – 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Friday, August 14 – 9 a.m. to noon
Monday, August 17, through Wednesday, August 19 – 9 a.m. to noon
Thursday, August 20 – 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Friday, August 21 – 9 a.m. to noon
ImPACT testing for girls tennis players in grades seven, nine and 11 will take place Monday, August 10, at 8 a.m. Athletes must bring the signed permission form to the testing. Team and individual photos will be taken Thursday, August 13, at 10 a.m.
The mandatory parent-athlete meeting for all sports is scheduled for Monday, August 24, at 7 p.m. in the high school theater. Athletes must attend this meeting to fulfill their sports related requirements.
Athletes are required to be up-to-date with their physicals, updates and ImPACT testing requirements before being allowed to begin practice. New physicals are required for athletes in grades seven, nine and 11 while updates are needed for grades eight, 10 and 12.
The Lady Bulldogs will host BBE (Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa), MN, in its opening match of the season Saturday, August 22, at 10 a.m. at Cantine Courts.
Coach Dahl returns for his 13th season with the girls tennis program. He has a 60-50 coaching record against Class A size schools and is 69-149 overall. He will be assisted this season by Abbey Trapp. Steve Stemsrud will volunteer with the program.
Seniors Rebekah Tuchscherer and Cara Berkner along with juniors Paige Johnson and Tatiana Stemsrud return for the Lady Bulldogs as letterwinners. “These girls will fill our top four singles positions and top two doubles spots and be our leadership for the team this season,” noted Dahl.
Other players who will battle for the other two singles positions and the final doubles spot on varsity will be Jamie DeVaal, Sarah Jarman, Jodi DeVaal, Rhianna Cantine and Jenny Seehafer.
Milbank collected nine dual wins and was 12th at the state tournament with 194 points last season. Those feats set new school records for the Lady Bulldogs. The team also was awarded the sportsmanship award at state. Tuchscherer finished sixth in singles and matched up with Johnson to take sixth in doubles at state last year. Berkner was on the doubles team that earned a 10th place state finish.
“Our goals are to steadily improve our serve and return and learn the strategies of the singles and doubles game to make our matches as competitive as possible,” explained Dahl.
Dahl also mentioned that there may be a few new teams added throughout the state this year. Harrisburg, Tea Area and Sioux Falls Christian have been trying to implement a tennis program since last year. “This may soon trigger a new alignment in the future to split AA and A at the state tournament,” he stated. Right now there are no class alignments in tennis.
A big event for the season continues to be the Elliot Extravaganza in Aberdeen. This is a special event to honor long time Aberdeen Roncalli coach Judy Rezatto who passed away from cancer three years ago. Milbank Area will play three matches at that event as well as a junior varsity double tournament. A noon meal is provided for all players and coaches.
“We are looking forward to a fun and competitive season,” exclaimed Dahl. “It will be tough losing six senior letterwinners from last year, but the four returners have a wealth of experience and we look forward to seeing our more inexperienced players step up to fill positions.”
Below is the complete schedule for Milbank Area girls tennis.
|08/22/15||10 a.m.||BBE, MN||Milbank|
|08/25/15||1 p.m.||Madison – Triangular||Madison|
|09/01/15||1 p.m.||Aberdeen Central||Aberdeen|
|09/01/15||3:30 p.m.||Aberdeen Roncalli||Aberdeen|
|09/04/15||3:15 p.m.||LQPV, MN||LQPV|
|09/11/15||9 a.m.||Brandon Invitational||Brandon|
|09/14/15||4:30 p.m.||LQPV 7th, 8th, JV||Milbank|
|09/19/15||9 a.m.||Elliot Extravaganza||Aberdeen|
|09/22/15||1 p.m.||Aberdeen Central||Milbank|
|09/29/15||1 p.m.||Aberdeen Roncalli||Milbank|
|10/01/15||2:30 p.m.||Benson, MN||Benson|
|10/05/15||4 p.m.||Watertown – 7th, 8th, JV||Watertown|
|10/08/15||TBA||State Tournament||Sioux Falls|
|10/09/15||TBA||State Tournament||Sioux Falls|
|10/10/15||TBA||State Tournament||Sioux Falls|