Young Ellsworth girls' tennis team rebuilds again with new coachEllsworth High School's tennis team is coming off a solid season in 2009 but it was a senior dominated team and now the Panthers have just a couple of returning letter winners and new head coach.
Ellsworth High School’s senior dominated tennis team last fall produced one of the best season’s for the program since the early part of the decade. Head coach Meghan Quinn-Kummer rebuilt the program to where it finished .500 in the Middle Border Conference at 3-3, finished third in the league tournament and finished first in the WIAA Division 2 sub sectional tournament.
But as with all senior dominated teams, players graduate and move leaving those left behind to continue on try keep the momentum moving forward.
It will be a difficult task for the Panther netters this season. Quinn-Kummer has stepped down as coach and has been replaced by Charysse Minder.
She played tennis for the Purple in high school and was a No. 1 singles player and played doubles with partner Whitney Plank. She nearly went to state in singles her senior year. She inherits a team with not much depth or varsity experience. There are only two returning letter winners.
“The girls have worked hard despite the hot weather, they listen, they’re well organized and they take to the game well,” Minder said. “There are some things we don’t have in terms of experienced varsity players or numbers but what we do have is good attitude and that’s a good foundation to start with.”
The Panthers also have a returning MBC champion singles player in senior Tiffany Weiss. She won at No. 4 singles 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 over New Richmond’s Hailey Davis in last year’s league tournament. She and fellow returning letter winner, junior Bethany Olson are team captains this season and will both play singles. Along with Weiss, there are only three seniors on the team this season.
“The girls are very athletic and some of them, I’ve noticed, have very good serves,” Minder said. “I’m going to work hard to give them the same kind of instruction in the game that I had in high school.”
Minder’s immediate goals is make sure the players improve by the end of the season, instill a strong sense of teamwork and provide a fun atmosphere to build a strong foundation for her tenure as head coach.
“Tennis is an individual sports but I want the girls to be able to help and support each other as one team,” Minder said. “That’s very important to me. Tennis is not an easy sport here given our court situation and the fact we only have one home dual meet so building a strong team with a positive attitude and having fun are attainable goals for us.”