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TELL CITY—With four returning starters and a freshman who has won numerous USTA tourneys, Tell City’s boys tennis team hopes to improve on last year’s 3-10 record.
The Marksmen have only eight boys on their roster—just one more than the number needed to fill a varsity lineup.
But they have some talent. Junior Greg Hollinden started at No. 1 doubles last year, Chris Kohnert started at No. 3 singles, and Trent Wheatley and Patrick Hagedorn started at No. 2 doubles.
Hollinden and since graduated Andy Kast compiled a six-match winning streak before losing to Jasper in the finals of the No. 1 doubles sectional.
Hollinden also played some singles last year and is in a close battle with freshman Anjan Kashyab for the No. 1 singles spot.
“It’s really a tossup right now,” Coach Nick Weyer said Thursday. “Greg’s a little more athletic but Anjan is more skilled in tennis.”
Kashyab has played in USTA tennis tourneys nearly every weekend this summer and is ranked high in his age group in the state.
All of the Marksmen have played more than usual this summer, though. “We had open court this summer and they all came for that,” said Weyer.
Whoever loses the battle for No. 1 singles will play No. 2.
Weyer said the No. 3 spot is a tossup among Wheatley, Kohnert, Michael Richmer and Jacob Miller.
Two of those three will play as one doubles team.
Hagedorn and Nathan Ramsey, a senior in his first year on the team, will likely form the other doubles team, as “they work well together,” said Weyer.
Weyer expects defending champion Forest Park, North Posey and Southridge to be the Marksmen’s strongest opponents in the PAC.
“Forest Park lost two or three guys from last year, but they’re always tough,” said Weyer. “North Posey was really good last year—they won their sectional. And Southridge is always very competitive.
“I think we’ll be somewhat competitive. We’ll probably land somewhere in the middle of the pack.”
Since tennis is not a class sport, Castle, a school with an enrollment more than 3.5 times as large as Tell City’s, stands in the Marksmen’s way in the sectional. The Knights have won the sectional 15 years in a row.
“It’d be really tough to put three wins together against Castle on one night,” said Weyer. “But I think we’re competitive with the other three teams in the sectional.
“Even though Castle’s the heavy favorite, we could have some individuals advance in No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles, as we did last year.”