“Our ultimate goal is to get as many girls qualified for state as possible,” Hillsboro High School tennis coach Bob Woelk said.
Woelk’s method for achieving that goal is focusing on Hillsboro High School’s two doubles teams. To begin the season, the top four Trojan tennis players will form the two doubles squads.
Seniors Becky Faber and Emma Heyen are the No. 1 team for Hillsboro.
Woelk said Faber is the Trojans most consistent hitter. She enjoys covering a wide swath of court and hammering forehands from hash to hash.
“When I’ve played her,” Woelk said, “she’s just destroyed me with cross court.”
Faber’s experience is primarily as a singles player and she has adjusted to playing up at the front of the net and working with a teammate in doubles.
“Doubles is not two singles players on a doubles court,” Woelk said. “Sometimes players complement each other.”
Woelk is hoping Faber’s cross-court talents are well-matched with Heyen’s big serve and skill at the net.
“If you have a great serve you’re going to go a long way,” Woelk said.
Heyen’s twin sister, Elise, is one half of the No. 2 doubles team with junior Courtney Weber. Weber and Elise Heyen both have considerable power on their forehands.
Senior Hayley Pankratz is Hillsboro’s No. 1 singles player and senior Aubrey Meier is the No. 2 singles player. Sophomores Peyton Loewen, Rachel Schneider, Katie Claassen, and Erin Winter will compose the auxiliary doubles and singles players.
“Part of my problem is where to play people,” Woelk said. “What combination do you use to give you a strong chance in a meet?”
Woelk is looking forward to matchups with annual 3A powers Hesston and Wichita Collegiate throughout the year. The Trojans head to Hesston Saturday and Wichita Sept. 28.
“They are a fun loving group,” Woelk said of the team. “It’s all about attitude. They’ve got good attitudes and they work hard.”
The Trojans two doubles teams won their brackets in the Hillsboro Invitational Aug. 31with Pankratz and Meier taking fifth in the No. 1 and No. 2 singles brackets.
No. 1 singles player Faber and No. 1 doubles team Weber and Elise Heyen placed second Thursday at Sterling. No. 2 singles player Emma Heyen and No. 2 doubles team Aubrey Meier and Hayley Pankratz placed first. Hillsboro finished first as a team at the Sterling tournament.