JDHS ready for East, West

Crimson Bears tennis hits the road today

Posted: Friday, September 04, 2009

While preparing for three matches this weekend in Anchorage, the Juneau-Douglas tennis team worked in some warm-up competition against each other Thursday with the opening round of the JDHS 2009 Team Tennis Championships.

David J. Sheakley / Juneau Empire
David J. Sheakley / Juneau Empire

There are six teams total in two flights.

"They play a round-robbin (tournament) in each one of those flights to determine seeding, and then we'll have a championship tournament ..., and the finals are at the end of September," coach Amy Skillbred said. "When you look up at Anchorage or Fairbanks, they're playing another team two or three times a week, and it's just not possible for us to do that. But we do have enough players here."

Today, JDHS tennis will play East Anchorage before a doubleheader against West Anchorage on Saturday.

"We will be able to see where our players are and how they can work together in doubles and mixed doubles so we can start to figure out where we are for the state tournament, and what our team's going to look like," Skillbred said.

"It doesn't set (the state roster) but it gives us an opportunity - since state is still a little over a month away and people can improve - to see what combinations work better."

West, Skillbred said, has one of the top teams in the state over the last couple of years.

"And East is a good team," she said, "but every year it just depends on who's there - who's graduated and who's come in."

Senior Brian Vandor said both East and West are solid.

"They're decent, and they've done very well in the last few years," he said. "We'll be looking at their top players, and I'd like to play the kids that were seeded (last year). I just lost to one last year in a tie-breaker."

Senior Nathan Graves said the team is looking forward to getting some work against new competition.

"We're looking forward to going up and playing Anchorage. We get to play two of the better schools, so since the other ones didn't want to play us, it might actually work out to our advantage if we can beat those two schools," he said. "If we show an undefeated record, then the kids we didn't get to play since they didn't want to play us, we'll be seeded higher than them even if we aren't better players. We're just going to go out and try to win the matches as best we can so we can get high seeds for state."

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