OTHELLO — It hasn’t been on the court much so far this spring, but the Othello tennis team is ready to roll when the weather does clear.
“No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles is where I think I’m going to make my bread. I feel like they will win every time,” girls coach Robert Pruneda said. “I’m going to rely heavily on (sophomore) Macy Hampton at No. 2 singles. She’s a phenomenal athlete in volleyball. She was part of No. 2 doubles last year that went undefeated. She’s going to try some singles this year too.”
Zoee Roylance went to the 2A state tournament last season as a junior in doubles, teamed with Kylee Hawley. She’ll play at the No. 1 singles slot this season in the team format of two singles and three doubles matches.
The No. 1 doubles tandem will be seniors Tanaya Andersen and Katie Walker, who will move up from the No. 2 doubles.
The numbers are good with 75 girls out, which makes for some difficult lineup decisions, Pruneda said, but it’s a nice dilemma to have in comparison to not enough.
“Selah and Ellensburg have been the really big programs. But we take pride in our ability to play with kids that have grown up in the country club, playing for five or six years,” Pruneda said. “I see this year as a four-team race with Ellensburg, Selah, East Valley and us. We’re all on the same page.”
The girls opened the Central Washington Athletic Conference schedule at home against Ephrata on Tuesday and will travel to Mattawa to play Wahluke on Thursday.
On the boys side, senior Collin Freeman and junior Kyler Villarreal will play at No. 1 doubles. Freeman and Villarreal were state qualifiers a year ago and go into the new season with a year of playing time together.
“They are super hungry and have worked really hard,” Pruneda said. “They serve and volley well and should be tough this season. The rest of our doubles will be fairly green, but we’re learning. But doubles are where our strength will be.”
The boys were middle of the pack last season. Ellensburg, Ephrata, Selah and Othello will slug it out again in the CWAC.
The boys also opened with Ephrata and will travel to Mattawa on Thursday.