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Wolves could be even better

Tennis: The Tualatin girls, with strong returnees and talented newcomers, eye a big 2007 season
by: File photo, DEFENDING CHAMP — Tualatin High School junior Marty Pellicano is the defending league singles champion.

TUALATIN - Things have been good for the Tualatin High School girls tennis team in the past.

This year, things could be even better for the Timberwolves.

With a strong group of returning players back from last year's team that won the Pacific-9 Conference championship with an 8-0 record, and with some talented newcomers added to the roster, Tualatin is taking high hopes into the 2007 season.

'I think it will be even better than last year,' Tualatin coach Doug Rostron said. 'We've got some very young girls, but we also have some returning state players.'

Among the top returnees for the Wolves will be juniors Marty Pellicano and Leah Hoffee, who will play at the No. 1 and No. 2 singles spots.

Last year, Pellicano and Hoffee met in the Pac-9 district tourney singles championship match, with Pellicano winning 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to claim her second straight district crown.

'She is looking real strong,' Rostron said of Pellicano.

Rostron is also looking for some good things from Hoffee this year.

'She has probably improved the most,' he said. 'She'll surprise some people.'

Sophomore Lauren Butz will be at No. 3 singles.

'She was pretty new to tennis last year as a freshman,' Rostron said. 'I look for her to dominate at No. 3 this year.'

Freshman Kathleen Shangraw will be at No. 4 singles.

'She's somewhat new to tennis, but she's real quick,' Rostron said.

At No. 1 doubles, Tualatin will have the team of seniors Natalie Campbell and Abby Messenger. The two played doubles together two years ago. Last year, they played on separate doubles teams, but both earned state-tourney berths. Messenger, in fact, was part of the district tourney championship team a year ago. They're off to a 5-0 start this season.

'I think they're going to be outstanding,' Rostron said.

Junior Maddie Bachhuber and sophomore Anna Hildebran will be at No. 2 doubles.

'They are going to be very, very good,' Rostron said. 'I think they will go far in district.'

Sophomores' Erica Bocchi and Erika Welsh will play at No. 3 doubles.

'They have no varsity experience, but they're improving,' Rostron said.

The team of freshmen Rebecca Koessler and Amanda Meyer will be at No. 4 doubles. The Wolves have another freshmen doubles team, Lauren Jones and Maggie Blum, which could also see varsity action.

While Tualatin looks to be the favorite in the Pacific Conference this season, it will have to go up against some solid competition.

'Canby is always tough and McMinnville will be tough,' Rostron said.

Tualatin opens Pacific Conference play Tuesday when it plays at Tigard in a league match starting at 4 p.m.