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Lady Bowmen take aim at the big time


Sherwood returns 13 players from last year's title team

SHERWOOD — Everything seems to be aligning just right for the Sherwood High School girls tennis team.

First off, the Lady Bowmen brought a 28-match Northwest Oregon Conference winning streak into the 2013 season.

The Sherwood squad also has 17 freshmen out for the team this year, setting up the potential for a bright future.by: DAN BROOD - STATE STAR -- Sherwood High School senior Courtney Mostul, shown here at last year's Class 5A state tournament, has played in the state event each of the past two years.

And, maybe most important of all, the Lady Bowmen return 13 varsity players, including 12 seniors, from last year’s squad that unbeaten in NWOC matches before going on to finish in fourth place in the team standings at the Class 5A state tournament.

“I’ve said it many times, but this group of seniors is the best I’ve ever had by far,” Sherwood coach Jim Krauel said. “These kids have tremendous hearts, a great collective work ethic, they love each other and they’ve all learned to embrace our mantra of ‘Making the Big Time Where You Are.’ They truly epitomize everything that our program is about.”

Five of Sherwood’s 12 returning seniors played in last year’s state tournament.

Leading the way for that group is the doubles team of Courtney Mostul and Nancy Nguyen.

Last year, Mostul and Nguyen teamed up to win the NWOC district tournament doubles championship and then they went on to place third at the Class 5A state tournament.

Another returning Lady Bowmen doubles team, seniors Kelsey Niebergall and Carley Mills also played at the state tournament last year, reaching the quarterfinals.

Returning senior Amy Otis also was part of a Sherwood doubles team that played at the state tournament last year.

The other returning seniors for the Lady Bowmen include Hannah Huntington, Keatley Pihl, Bryce Keicher, Shea Menzel, Taylor Mathews, Lydia Ng and Savanna Davis.

Davis and Ng are expected to battle it out for the No. 1 singles position, with Davis starting the year at the top spot.

Mathews and Menzel will round out the singles lineup, with Otis, Mostul and Nguyen expected to get sporadic singles action.

Junior Cambria Rooney is Sherwood’s other returning varsity player.

New additions to the varsity roster are juniors Amy Marks and Cailyn Bowen, sophomores Taylor Wochnick, Megan Kittel and Sabrina Adams and freshman Allison Schwarm.

Krauel is expecting his Sherwood players to excel both on the court and in the classroom.

“Academic excellence is a hallmark of our program, and this year, our team GPA will, once again, be among the state’s bests,” he said.

As for the NWOC this season, Krauel sees rival Wilsonville as the team Sherwood will likely have to battle for the top spot.

“Once again, we view Wilsonville as our primary competition this year,” he said. “And, as always, we look forward to playing them. They’ve got some terrific young players, so we’ll be excited to see their team this year.”

Sherwood and Wilsonville had their first of two league dual matches of the season on Tuesday, with the Lady Bowmen coming out on top 7-2 in a match played at Wilsonville.

The Lady Bowmen will be back in action Friday when they host St. Helens in a league match set to start at 4 p.m. at Laurel Ridge Middle School.