Kelli Sides will pull double-duty for the Vikings this year, coaching both the boys and girls

The Forest Grove girls tennis team finished tied for second place in the Pacific Conference last season. This year, coach Kelli Sides is hoping for more of the same.

'The girls are looking very strong,' Sides says. 'This year we'd like to be in the same position (as last year). We can compete with the top three or four teams in our league.'

The Vikings girls will be led by senior Kelley Nemchick, who will compete in the No. 1 spot, and junior Margaret Connors, who will compete in the No. 2 spot.

'They're very close,' Sides says. 'They had a battle for who plays No. 1 this year. Whoever doesn't play No. 1 is a very strong No. 2.'

After coaching only the girls last season, Sides will take over the boys team as well this year. The Viking boys are young, but Sides says they are working hard to make up for their inexperience.

'The boys had a little bit of a struggle last year,' Sides says. 'This year they can pretty much only go up. They're working really, really hard. They have a lot of potential. They'll compete really hard right in the middle of our league, for sure.'

The boys will be led by junior Nathan Tanous in the No. 1 spot. The boys No. 1 doubles team could also be good for Forest Grove with the tandem of senior Josh Cohrs and sophomore Carson Wilbur.

Coaching both the boys and girls, it has been a struggle for Sides to find time to get to both teams' practices. But, having one coach for both the boys and girls has created a bond between the two teams.

'The girls and guys come together and they're very supportive of each other,' Sides says. 'It's very team oriented, which is really nice.'

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