JORDAN MCELHANEY is one of the returning players for the Prospect tennis girls. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
April 07, 2014ALTON — The season hadn't even begun and the Prospect Mountain tennis girls already had a postponement.
The team's opener, slated after deadline on Monday, was postponed during the previous week as the Timber Wolves and teams around the Lakes Region and north continue to deal with snow on the ground.
Coach Joe Derrick has a team with just one senior, but he will have players returning to the lineup looking to contribute a little more than they have in the past.
"With only one senior, our strong top four will look to improve against tough competition," Derrick stated.
With the courts still featuring a little snow, the Timber Wolves have been out working on the courts with shovels in hope of encouraging the melting and they've also been working on conditioning and working on form in the gym as the season gets under way.
The Timber Wolves will bring four players back into the lineup to play in the top four, though Derrick wasn't 100 percent sure exactly where each would fall as the season rolled along.
Junior Alyssa Moodie will serve as assistant captain and will look to build on her consistent play as she seals a top-four spot in the lineup.
Jordan McElhaney also returns to the lineup for the Timber Wolves and Derrick notes her strong mental concentration and strategic play will help her hold down a spot near the top of the lineup.
Sophomore Lauren Breuer also returns to the lineup with powerful ground strokes and Derrick will be looking for her to serve as a key cog in the lineup.
Newcomer Annika Patterson brings experience from her time in Florida and Derrick is interested in seeing how that translates into her game in New Hampshire and he expects her to hold down a spot in the top four.
The top six will be rounded out by a rotation of returning players Shannon Roberts, Cydney McIntyre and Hollie Foster and newcomer Malian Dragon. Foster is the team's lone senior and she will serve as the team captain.
Additionally, Derrick has a number of younger players making a bid for playing time. Ari Libenson, Shannon Armstrong, Alexandra Gumby and Kayla Jury will all be looking to crack the lineup.
"(They) show great potential and athletic promise and will look to gain experience before playing in their first varsity matches later this year," Derrick stated.
The Timber Wolves play two matches each against neighboring Gilford and Kingswood, as well as Moultonborough, plus one match each against Stevens, Inter-Lakes, Profile, White Mountains, Bow, Sanborn, Wilton-Lyndeborough, Littleton and Pelham.
The season was slated to begin after deadline Wednesday, April 9, at home against Stevens, weather and conditions permitting. On Friday, April 11, the Timber Wolves are slated to host Inter-Lakes at 4 p.m. On Tuesday, April 15, Profile visits for a 4 p.m. match and on Wednesday, April 16, at 4 p.m. the Timber Wolves visit White Mountains.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 569-3126 or firstname.lastname@example.org