With the experience of a senior state qualifier and a large group of upper-class players, knowledge of how to win on the varsity level will be a nice asset for Immaculata.


Team: Immaculata girls’ tennis

Last year’s record: Singles 36-63; doubles 10-64

Coach: Manuel JF Hernandez and Jessica Shirey

Coach’s record: 742-1,470; fifth season

Key returnees:
Olivia Wilson, senior; No. 1 singles player who qualified for state in 2011 and won sixth at the regional tournament
Abby Meirose, junior
Sydney Simek, junior
Madison Eddy, junior
Hannah Wilson, sophomore

Newcomers to watch:
Liz Lee, junior
Olivia Theus, junior
Elena Nine, freshman
Priscilla Hernandez, freshman

Team Outlook: STRENGTHS — Strong suits for the 2012 Lady Raiders will be the squad’s work ethic and leadership according to Hernandez.

With the experience of a senior state qualifier and a large group of upper-class players, knowledge of how to win on the varsity level will be a nice asset for Immaculata.

WEAKNESSES —  A lack of summer play has put some of the Imac players behind their development schedule. Taking advantage of early practices and competitions will be key to catching up believes the Lady Raiders coach.

Big games: At Lansing Quad, Aug. 30; At Sabetha Quad, Sept. 6; Immaculata Invite, Sept. 11; At Spring Hill Tournament, Sept. 22; At Leavenworth Invite, Oct. 1

Coach says: “The first week of practice was a good one and coach Shirey and I were very pleased with the disciplined work ethic our girls displayed, especially the first-year players.

"We graduated five experienced seniors and there was a bit of concern over how many players we would have for this season. When 14 girls signed up and showed up that first week, the outlook for the future picked up greatly. Olivia Wilson has demonstrated that she will be in contention for a return visit to the state tournament, while Liz Lee and Abby Meirose are looking to challenge her for one of the singles’ positions.

"We have a good group of freshman and sophomores that are working hard and will also be eyeing a varsity position. Our first JV match revealed some solid improvement for many players and good singles wins by Abby Meirose and Elena Nine.

"I think we will have some tough days, given our lack of experience, but I am confident our girls will make great strides throughout the season. Several of the girls will have a strong showing throughout the season and are likely to make some waves at the regional tournament before the season is done. Go Lady Raiders!”