Bears headed back to state

Posted: Tuesday, October 06, 2009

After an exciting week of championship Region V tennis at the JRC/Alaska Club, JDHS is headed to Anchorage for the state tournament.

The finals on Sunday were close, entertaining matches with two of three championship finals going three sets.

Coach Amy Skilbred said her team looks great going into the championship on Friday.

"It was great to see so many kids improving throughout the season and really playing their best tennis," Skilbred said. "For those team members now getting ready to go to state, it's good to see them at the top of their game because that's where you want to be when you're heading off to state."

Skilbred said that she hopes to build off past success at state, and believes the team is good enough to do just that.

"We've got a very good team; we've come in third at state a couple of times and I'm hoping to do even better than that this year," she said. "We have a very solid boys' doubles team that should be seeded and do very well, and I expect our mixed doubles team to do very well, also."

JDHS will be sending eight student-athletes to Anchorage on Friday. Competing in boys' singles is Nick Parker. Rachel Donohoe will represent the girls in singles. On the boys' side in doubles will be Nathan Graves teaming up with Aaron Cohen, and Marlena Sloss and Sammy Alex will pair for girls' doubles. Mixed doubles will feature Laurel Messerschmidt and Brian Vandor.

Skilbred said there will be a high level of competition at state this year. Some of the faces will be familiar; there also will be schools Juneau-Douglas has yet to face this season.

"West (Valley High School) has consistently been a very powerful school for tennis and they have a fair amount of depth, but since so few players participate, the depth isn't as important," Skilbred said. "Dimond may have a really good team, but we haven't played them so we don't know as much about them."

The state tournament will run Friday and Saturday in Anchorage. There also will be a pot-luck dinner and awards ceremony later in October for the tennis team.

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