Ella Riddle, from England, joins the team and is one of the states top players this year

The West Linn girls tennis team is young, having lost seven seniors last year, but it features some very impressive talent and the squad should be very competitive in the Three Rivers League this season.

The Lions have the benefit of featuring exchange student Ella Riddle from England. Riddle's father is in the United States this year, working with Nike and she should be one of the elite players in the entire state.

“She plays in a lot of tournaments and is just amazing,” said coach Linn Beswick.

The Lions also return two strong players at No. 1 doubles in Macie Coronel and Nicole Campbell. Coronel and Campbell both have varsity experience but are teamed together for the first time this year and should be in the running for a berth at state.

At No. 2 doubles, Emmalee Scheid and Jenna Broadhurst make up a consistent pairing, as do Emily Borne and Callie Olson at No. 3.

“Emily is really fast and can get to anything and Callie is very tall and athletic at the net,” Beswick said.

Currently at No. 4 doubles, Jackie Keele and Sarah Chung are playing together as a newly formed pairing. The doubles teams have been evolving early in the season as Beswick looks to find the best chemistry.

“It's really like a short-term marriage. You have to find people who complement each other,” Beswick said.

In singles, Rebecca Cruize fills in at No. 2.

“She's very consistent and can hang in there with the best of them,” Beswick said.

Maddy Kunstel is playing No. 3 and Julia Casad rounds out the roster at No. 4 singles.

With the Lions' youth, the team has been working on drills and looking to get more consistent in practices.

“It's a growing year for us and it's been important to keep things fun,” Beswick said.

The Lions are coming off a tough 5-3 loss to Lakeridge but the team expects to improve as the season progresses and could be very strong in the second half of the season.

“It's really not going to take much for us to get to that point,” Beswick said.

West Linn's next match is scheduled to take place at home this Friday against Clackamas.

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