South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Experience to be key to Tigers’ success


Oakville High School head coach Bill Ebert believes his varsity girls’ tennis team will improve on last season’s winning record. Photo by Bill Milligan.

By Robert Chalupny
For the Call

The Oakville High School varsity girls’ tennis team is coming off an average season that ended one game over .500, and the Tigers look to compete and improve on that in 2017.

Head coach Bill Ebert told the Call that he is feeling pretty good about this year’s squad and believes his team will take things a few steps further than last year.

“I have some expectation for us to do better than we did last year,” he said. “We had a nice record — one game over .500, and I want us to do a lot better than that … I do have the confidence these girls are going to do that because I bring back three girls for sure who played varsity last year and a couple of my top JV (junior varsity) girls from year.

“They are kind of fighting right now. They are ranking on these challenge matches and so I see brighter days ahead — not that we didn’t have it last year, but the talent is there and the experience is there. More than anything, I think that’s going to help us.”

Leading the pack of returning starters are seniors Chloe Dedic and McKenna Brooks, both of whom played singles in the district meet last year.

Currently in the top six are Callie Balin, Taylor Powell, Ashley Jakubeck and Alek-sandra Blagojevic. Dedic and Brooks will most likely play doubles together this season as the No. 1 doubles pairing.

“… They have played doubles before, and I can see them being a good doubles pair so we will see,” Ebert said of the two veteran players.

Determination is one strength the Tigers possess, and the Oakville coach hopes that will play a key role in building a successful team around the core group of returning varsity players.

“All these girls have really improved over the last year or two that I’ve had them, and they are real aggressive and they never give up,” Ebert said. “Even last year they always kept fighting and digging, and so that’s going to go far this year.”

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