Independent prepares for loaded 3-2-1A girls tennis regional
Be a fighter on the court. Keep scrapping, no matter what.
Do these two things, and Independent girls tennis coach Simon Norman figures youre going to win a ton of matches.
If youre just those two things, in high school, youre going to win a lot, Norman said. Then add fundamentals and technique ... youve got something to really build on.
Norman says Independents top singles player, freshman Anna Riedmiller, has all those things. And shell need to put them all together and then some for Friday and Saturdays loaded Class 3-2-1A regional in Hutchinson.
The regional features last seasons Class 4A team champion, Collegiate, and last seasons 3-2-1A champion, Conway Springs. Independent, tied for third last year in 3-2-1A and Hesston, fourth in 4A, help round out the field.
Thats two really good schools in Collegiate and Hesston that werent in it last year, Norman said. The draw will be crucial because its such a packed field.
Collegiate brings Brooke Withrow into the mix trying for her third straight state singles championship shes won the last two years in 4A. The Spartans also have a top doubles team in Hannah Osland and Allie Lindwall. Osland was part of the doubles team that won 4A last year.
Riedmiller is 21-3 this season, with two of her losses coming to Withrow and the other to Andovers Dohee Lee, one of 5As top players. Riedmiller beat City League singles champion Courtney Lubbers of Bishop Carroll and Kapaun Mount Carmels Allie Schulte, the singles runnerup, so shes faced tough competition.
I just have that one player on my mind, and thats what me and my coach are trying to chase after, Riedmiller said of Withrow. Shes a really aggressive player, you cant go out and try to just bang with her and match her shots. Youve got to switch it up, try to change the pace. Shell make you pay for mistakes.
Its kind of nerve-wracking thinking about qualifying for state and all the work weve put in to get to this point, but I also understand that Im only a freshman and I shouldnt overthink this. Ill go for every point, Ill chase after every ball.
In Riedmiller, Norman sees a player who might have what it takes to achieve the kind of success Withrow has had. Maybe not this year, but someday.
(Riedmiller) is smart and athletic and already really an intelligent player, Norman said. She knows what to do to win points or games. For a freshman, shes really solid playing off the ground.
The top six singles players and top two doubles teams at regionals make it to state. Independents Cara Anderson finished ninth in singles in 3-2-1A last year and is back. Also returning is the doubles team of seniors Codey Davis and Jessica Kieu they finished fifth in 3-2-1A last season.
(Kieu) and I are best friends off the court, so we know each other really well, Davis said. I can see when shes starting to tense up and be nervous and I know what to say to her and we both end up fine. Were in the hardest regional in the state, which is kind of a bummer, but itll prepare us for state.