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Bishop Carroll girls rely on depth for success

Published August 22 at 6:17 p.m. | Last updated August 22 at 6:18 p.m.

Bishop Carroll’s girls tennis team has one main problem in its quest to regain the Class 5A title this season, and it’s a good one.

“We have a lot of depth, which brings many challenges when we’re trying to determine who makes the varsity team,” coach Darren Huslig said. “We’ve been putting them through different challenges at practice to see who is ready to take the next step up. We have girls on our team that played JV last year that are ready for varsity.”

Five Carroll athletes placed at last year’s Class 5A meet, and four return. Courtney Lubbers is the lone athlete not returning due to graduation. Lubbers placed second in singles, a match that determined the team title between Carroll and Andover.

But her younger twin sisters, Nicole and Natalie, are returning. The twins teamed to finish third in doubles last year, but Huslig said he may split up the twins this season.

“We are looking to build team chemistry and we hope to put multiple great doubles teams out there,” Huslig said. “Last season we had a doubles team place third and eighth. There are teams that wish they could get a team to place eighth. We had two teams place, and they’re both back.

“Our (No.) 1 singles and (No.) 1 doubles will be really strong this year. Everyone is improving. We may use Natalie in singles this year. She is only a junior, but like her sisters, she is an extremely talented player. We have good depth in singles, which will be our strength this season.”

Breckyn Steven and Abby Garcia teamed to place eighth in doubles, and Huslig believes both will make a significant impact again this season.

The Carroll tennis program continues to grow more competitively within, which may be a result of its recent success — winning 5A in 2012 and a win away from repeating in 2013.