MHS tennis mix of veterans and newcomers

Several players have shown growth over past years

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By Stephen Glover, For the Call

As the 2021 season begins, the Mehlville girl’s tennis team is looking at a healthy mix of experienced veterans and newcomers to fill up the Panther’s roster.

“We are very fortunate that some of our returning players are seniors,” Mehlville head coach Jill Wojewuczki said. “We have nine to 10 new players, so we have a very wide range of skill and ability this year.”

Appearing at No. 1 singles for the Panthers this season will be Gabrielle Kittinger.

“I would imagine Gabrielle being our No. 1 singles player this year,” Wojewuczki said. “When Gabrielle came in as a freshman she had zero experience and her growth over the course of the past couple of years has been impressive. Her ground strokes as well as her overall awareness on the court has improved.”

Sophomore Emily Wilder should see action at the No. 2 or 3 singles slot for the 2021 campaign.

“We’re really hoping that Emily can gain a little more mental toughness this year,” Wojewuczki said. “I believe that as she strengthens the fundamentals, it will give her the confidence she needs to help herself compete at a higher level.”

Senior Amanda Golic should also factor into the Tiger’s starting six this season.

“Amanda’s been very steady for us for the past three years,” Wojewuczki said. “She’ll be a part of our top six and I think she’s going to have a key leadership role on this year’s team.”

Another sophomore that has made great strides in the offseason is Alaina Johnson.

“Alaina’s going to need to build up her confidence this year and we’ve already seen her strengthen up her fundamentals from last year,” Wojewuczki said. “She’s showed a lot of growth from her freshman to her sophomore year.”

The Panthers kick off the 2021 season at Cape Central on Aug. 30.