The Seniors of Mount Si’s Girls Tennis team are training to make this season the best ever for the team. From left: Alex Sjoboen, Emily Schwabe, Allie Urbasich, Katie Larson and Hannah Jones. (Evan Pappas/Staff Photo)

Spring Sports Update: Wildcat girls tennis team plans to build on past successes

  • Tue Mar 14th, 2017 5:15pm
  • Sports

Head coach: James Gibowski

Team captains: Seniors Alex Sjoboen, Emily Schwabe, Allie Urbasich, Katie Larson and Hannah Jones.

Team strengths: The girls tennis team is coming back to play after their best season ever in 2016, and with a strong lineup of returning players, they hope to continue to improve.

“Last year, I thought we had a really good season. We won five matches. I told the girls at the beginning of the season if we won five matches I would shave off my mustache, which I’ve had for 30 years and we won five matches,” Gibowski said. “We also lost three matches four to three, that’s how close it was.”

The seniors want to push further beyond their performance last year and turn all of those close losses into wins.

”It’s really exciting because we have a bunch of seniors on the team and trying to end our last year of well,” Senior Alex Sjoboen said. “Last year we figure out who we wanted to play with, who works best, doubles or singles. We know how we all hit, what are strengths are.”

Gibowski said the team has their top players in both singles and doubles back again this year and the program has seen more growth with a record turnout of 38 players across JV and Varsity.

Challenges: The weather has been one of the biggest roadblocks for the team thus far in the season. Because of the wind and rain, they have not yet been able to practice outside on the courts and are stuck practicing inside the Mount Si High School gym.

Because of the differences in the floor and balls used, practicing inside a gym is not ideal. It is also a smaller space than a tennis court, restricting the full range of movement. Gibowski said determining the top 12 players to put on varsity has been tricky due to this, as the performance of players can shift once they are on a real tennis court.

Senior Allie Urbasich said the limitations that come from practicing in a gym are not always negative. Some skills, like control over a limited space, can be beneficial in a real match.

“Our coaches say that can be a blessing because you learn how to have more control over the ball when you are in a smaller space so hopefully that will come to our advantage,” she said. “At the same time the ground is not the same and the ball is not the same kind of ball you hit with.”

Don’t miss: Mount Si’s first home game against Liberty High School, at 3:45 p.m., on Thursday, March 16.

“They are always a great group of girls,” Gibowski said. “They are focused and they want to get out on the courts like I do.”

2016-17 Mount Si Varsity Girls Tennis Schedule

Tue, Mar 14 Juanita 3:45 pm at Juanita

Thu, Mar 16 Liberty 3:45 pm at Home

Mon, Mar 20 Interlake 3:45 pm at IHS

Tue, Mar 21 Eastlake 3:45 pm at Eastlake High School Thu, Mar 23 Sammamish 3:45 pm at Home Tue, Mar 28 Bothell 3:45 pm at Home Wed, Mar 29 Sammamish 4 pm at Odle Middl Thu, Mar 30 Issaquah 3:45 pm at Home Tue, Apr 4 Skyline 3:45 pm at Skyline High School Thu, Apr 6 Tahoma 3:45 pm at Home Tue, Apr 18 Woodinville 3:45 pm at Woodinville High School Wed, Apr 19 Hazen 3:30 pm at Hazen Thu, Apr 20 Inglemoor 3:45 pm at Home Tue, Apr 25 Newport 3:45 pm at Newport High School