Summer tennis continues in its second year in Mac
This summer, McMinnville girls tennis coach Angelica Huston and boys coach Wes Gabrielsen brought back summer team tennis for their players, entering two McMinnville teams into a league with Dallas, Woodburn, Timberhill, Silverton and a team from Salem. The goal, like most summer programs, is to get their athletes valuable experience.
“It’s a way to keep them out on the courts during the summer when the weather is nice,” Huston said.
The two McMinnville teams wrap up their summer season next week, and the format has been beneficial to the players. The season has consisted of nine matches, with each team made up of eight players. A match is best of five, with boys and girls singles matches, boys and girls doubles and a mixed doubles match. All matches are pro-set scoring, first to eight, and you must win by two.
“It’s fun for the kids,” Huston said. “They kind of look forward to coming and out and playing. Playing mixed also kind of adds to the variety.”
This summer, 10 of the 16 players are girls, Huston said, and they’re all from her varsity team. The Grizzlies will bring back all but one player, something Huston said she is excited about.
“This is instrumental for them for next season,” she said. “It makes a huge difference.
“Next year is going to be huge.”
The experience playing this summer is also pivotal for the boys program, but for a different reason. Gabrielsen lost 12 of his 15 varsity kids to graduation in June. The Grizzlies will have a completely new look in 2014, and any chance to get the new players onto the court, the better.
“This is a perfect environment for them to get matches vs. people they don’t know,” Gabrielsen said. “What they really need is just exposure to tennis.”
Gabrielsen hasn’t been able to make many of the matches, so he turned over one of the coaching spots to Brendon Walters, a former player of his. He has seen enough of the play, though, to form some evaluations.
“They’re really good at competing,” Gabrielsen said, “but just getting them on the court is the main goal.”
“The thing I like is these guys are athletic and hustle.”
The two McMinnville teams finish up their final three matches Wednesday at the Cowls courts vs. Timberhill and Dallas. With the weather continuing to be in the 80s and 90s, Huston was brainstorming ways to keep the teams cool and celebrate the end of the season.
“Maybe I should bring popsicles.”
Notes: Huston wanted to remind people that there is still time to register for the Grizzly Tennis Camp from Monday to Wednesday. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, read the Grizzly Tennis Camp brief in the sports briefs section on A9.