AP NEWS

A look at La Porte Girls Tennis

April 8, 2019

Coach: Don Varda (4th year)

Last year: 18-2 (6-1 Duneland Athletic Conference, shared DAC title), (beat Michigan City 5-0 in La Porte Sectional final, fell 3-2 to South Bend St. Joseph in La Porte Regional semis).

Key returners: Alaina Majors (No. 1 singles), Allison Varda, Rachel Kaminski, Jory Bales, Emma Keene.

Key newcomers: Molly Reed, Kaitlyn Friis, Aniya Kennedy.

Key losses: Tally Wolf (No. 2 singles), Maddie Nunn (doubles), Madeline Fleshman (doubles).

Outlook: Despite hoisting its fourth straight sectional trophy last spring, La Porte’s girls tennis team isn’t content. It wants more. Coach Varda gets the sense the girls are still motivated. “I feel like their goals are really good,” he said. “I feel like they’re very hungry. They’re very focused. They’re dedicated. We have girls who are playing all year. We have girls who are playing a lot of tennis.” That offseason experience, along with some critical players returning and exceptional team unity could propel this squad to new heights. “This year may be the best team chemistry and the best team unity we’ve had,” Varda added. “We want the girls to rely on each other and think of each other as a team, rather than think of themselves as an individual. They have a responsibility to their team.” Leaders for the Slicers should be Majors, Allison Varda, Kaminski, Bales, and Keene. Majors is a stout player and will play No. 1 singles most of the year, while the other leaders might move around to various spots. “Alaina, Allison and Rachel, I expect them to have real good seasons,” Coach Varda said. “I really expect most of the girls to, but out of the top girls, they should be strong.”

-- compiled by Zack Eldridge