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Girls tennis: Dana Beck talks about the upcoming season

Ally Baker and Virginia Norder

Last year the team went 15-3 in the conference and once again qualified for state, where it finished fourth. What are some of your favorite memories from the season?

Last year was so bittersweet. Especially having five seniors on the team and two sets of sisters, the Harringtons and the Hoffmanns. My favorite memories are of our section semis and section final matches where Rosemount was the underdog and went in to win both matches 4-3. I remember that each position pulled through during key matches to help with wins at both of our section matches and against Brainerd at state and the team truly believed all positions could win with our depth of talent. It truly was a team effort and that will always hold key memories in my heart as every person contributed to the team's success.

What was it about that group of players that allowed them to have so much success?

Most of the seniors from last year had been a part of the varsity team on our first state tournament appearance in Rosemount's history as lower level positions or alternates on the team in 2009. It was a great experience seeing their leadership and competitive edge as leaders for the underclassman and seeing the success continue for our tennis program.

Have the players been putting in a lot of time playing tennis during the off season?

Yes, the majority of players are playing in the offseason, participating in drills, travelling tennis leagues and invidual lessons which continues to help keep us competitive with other teams in the South Suburban conference.

Virginia Norder (28-5) and Ally Baker (24-3) are back at singles after going a combined 52-8 last year. What are their individual strengths and what are your goals and expectations for them this year?

Virgina Norder continues to work hard and improve her game. She will remain a top competitor in our conference and section. She continues to travel to play competitive tournaments and takes lessons regularly. I look forward to seeing her strong singles play on the court this season.

Ally Baker is a second-year captain and leader of the team. She also worked hard doing lessons and tournaments during the off season and I am looking forward to seeing her compete in the singles line up this fall.

What other returning players do you expect to see in the varsity lineup?

Other returning players are Emily Harrington (11), Rachel Hoffmann (10), Rachel Olson (12), Abby Kohagen (10) and Monica McDonald (10). We also have some gifted athletes in seventh and eighth grade who are trying out this week so we will see how they perform during tryouts and see if they are ready for varsity competition.

We graduated two singles players and two doubles players. We have no returning doubles tandems, so we will have to see how everything shakes out with tryouts and see who will work well with each other.

What are your goals and expectations for the team this year? Are the girls looking for another state trip?

A lot of the girls have improved significantly in the off season and I am very excited to see how we will stack up against some of the competitive teams in our conference this fall. We continue to keep our top two singles players who were very successful last season and who will continue to be strong contributors to team points in match play.