With 10 seniors and a lion’s share of its varsity line-up returning from a conference championship team, expectations are high for the Warrensburg girls tennis program.
“We have 10 seniors, so we are pretty experienced, especially in our top six. We’ve got five returners,” Warrensburg coach Elle Liebnitz said.
Having a plethora of experience back has fostered competition in practice and a culture of getting work in outside of practice.
“They take it upon themselves to play and work on their game outside of our practice times,” Liebnitz said.
Senior Hannah Shaffer is the lone state qualifier from a year ago as the Lady Tigers lost her doubles partner Hope Dahlhoff and individual state qualifier Shelby Davis.
“(Shaffer) is definitely one to watch out for,” Liebnitz said.
Senior Nina Thessen advanced to sectionals a season ago, just missing out on the state tournament.
Shaffer, Thessen and senior Bethany Ballard are slated to fill out the top third of the Warrensburg varsity six.
Returning varsity members Jordan Bistline and Kourtenay Wirthwein will fill the No. 4 and No. 5 spots the Lady Tigers.
“It’s kind of a dog fight right now for that No. 6 spot,” Liebnitz said.
Freshman Jessica Snare has come on strong in the opening week of practice as have juniors Brooke Barker, Rachel Beymer and Morgan Starbuck.
Thessen and Ballard will join forces as the No. 1 doubles team. They have been friends since the first day of tennis practice as freshman.
“They’ve really stuck together, and I haven’t played them together because they just worked better with someone else, but this year they are really excited about that,” Liebnitz said.
Warrensburg opens the season at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 27 at Higginsville, the first match since joining the Missouri River Valley Conference West.
Bethany Ballard, Jordan Bistline, Cisaria Burch, Caroline Deal, Caroline Schumaker, Hannah Shaffer, Rachel Stark-Wroblewski, Alexandria Tallant, Nina Thessen, Kourtenay Wirthwein.
Brooke Barker, Rachel Beymer, Sadie Misner, Chloe Ridenhour, Ryllee Rousseau, Morgan Starbuck.
Allison Adlich, Mariah Johnson, Caley Rogers, Matilyn Shore, Sadie Svedin, Reagan Webb.
Jordan Chapman, Emilee Colhour, Ellie Gostomski, Jessica Snare.
Head coach: Elle Liebnitz
Assistant coach: Scott Maple
Aug. 27, at Higginsville, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 28, at Odessa, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 30, Clinton, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 4, at Excelsior Springs, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 6, Grain Valley, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 7, Warrensburg Tournament, 9 a.m.
Sept. 11, Harrisonville, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 12, Tournament at Cameron, 8 a.m.
Sept. 13, St. Michael the Archangel Catholic, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 17, Smith-Cotton, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 18, Odessa, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 20, at Harrisonville, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 25, Excelsior Springs, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 27, Tournament at Odessa, 4:30 p.m.
BOLD indicates home matches at Grove Park Tennis Courts