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Tennis team headed to Park Rapids Invitational

The Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines will make a quick foray into the tennis wars Saturday when they open their season at the Park Rapids Invitational.

The eight-team invite will give first-year head coach Neil Koehler a chance to see his players in competition. The Wolverines will go up against clubs from Park Rapids, Fergus Falls, Thief River Falls, East Grand Forks, Roseau, Minnewaska and Moorhead.

Opening the season six days after the first day of practice is the kind of challenge that tennis players know well. The Wolverines are coming off a 6-13 season which started with eight seniors on the court. Leading the senior group was singles ace Katie Anderson, who wrapped up her career with more than 90 wins to her credit.

The Wolverines have six varsity players back for the 2009 season -- seniors Andrea Jensen, Jessica Rinkel, Hanna Larson and Sam Holweger, junior Haley Anderson and freshman Macy Hartman.

Vying for spots will be juniors Anna Meltzer and Molly Barrett, freshmen Hanna Jacobson and Molly Kraemer, eighth graders Ashley Carlson, Paige Hartman, Sarah Najjar, Abby Wegscheid and Marie Hunt and seventh graders Eloise Kallevig, Anna Kraemer, Macy Folkestad and Desiree Isola.

"I've seen some good singles players and I think that a strong singles lineup could be our best bet for wins," Koehler said.

Staples-Motley, the club that bumped Wadena-Deer Creek out of the Sub-Section 6A tournament last year, is once again considered a powerhouse.