TENNIS: The Valiants are young, but vow to give their best shots in District 2 play

BEAVERTON - The Valiants are ready to work this year, and ready to give the other girls tennis teams in District 2 their best shot.

Valley Catholic, led by first-year coach Chris Johnson, is young but talented enough to challenge the best teams in its district, most likely Catlin Gabel and Oregon Episcopal School.

'We're so young but we'll get a good, gritty effort from everyone,' said Johnson, a former collegiate tennis player. 'It will be tough but I expect good results.'

The 2007 Valiants will be led by senior Stephanie Tran at No. 1 singles, followed by sophomore Kim Vennes, junior Sanaz Ebrahimi and sophomore Melanie Rossetti.

Tran has 'a great game. She has no weaknesses in her game. She can hit every shot in the book and she has an uncanny sense of movement on the court,' Johnson said.

Johnson is also upbeat about the chances for Vennes and Rossetti this year.

'Vennes and Rossetti (both have) tremendous potential,' Johnson said. 'I'm looking forward to how they respond this year to their first true level of competition.'

In doubles, the team is led by senior Megan Nibler and sophomore Jane Christen at No. 1, and four other teams that could play anywhere from No. 2 through No. 4 - junior Ann Wingert and sophomore Phillipa Hilgers; sophomore Meena Vanka and junior Joeanna Kim; junior Liska Yamada and junior Lani Nguyen; and sophomore Kate Takata and sophomore Hana Zewdie.

'I expect OES and Catlin to have a definite advantage, but we're going to outwork our opponents,' Johnson said.

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