There is no doubt that when Osceola Chieftain tennis coach Beth Friedrichsen saw her roster at 25 athletes for the first day of practice she was smiling from ear to ear. Yes, the big numbers that she was looking at would make her and assistant coach Brent Bundgaard’s jobs more difficult, but they weren’t afraid of the challenge. Neither are the 25 kids on the roster which is led by six talented seniors.
“The depth of this year’s team is incredibly exciting and I’m lucky to be a part of it,” Chieftain senior Makayla Quigley said. “The girls this year are so close in talent that it pushes each and every one of us to play harder for what spot we want to play for. With the long bus rides and overnight tournaments, it’s really brought this year’s team closer and not only improved our skills but our capabilities and trust in our team. It’s amazing to know how much the team has grown from the first practice to now. With this year’s team depth and trust in one another, we could do great through conference and also playoffs.”
The talent at practices is starting to show big results for the squad on the courts. Osceola got four quality matches in at a meet in Altoona and was able to win three of those contests. The Chieftains defeated Medford 5-2, Altoona 4-3 and Black River Falls 4-2 and fell to Luther 7-0. Friedrichsen was able to get a look at several different combinations as she sorts out what her best lineup will be.
Last week Osceola had a pair of matches and again success in both. The Chieftains defeated the Barron Bears 5-2 and followed that with a 6-1 win over the Unity Eagles. Against Barron Jam Dannenmueller posted a win at No. 2 singles, Sophia LaVigne at No. 3 singles and Caitlin Karun in the No. 4 singles spot. All three wins were in straight sets.
The No. 2 doubles team of Quigley and Ella Salewski and the No. 3 doubles team of Rachel Olson and Kathryn Marek also won in straight sets.
Unity has a small roster and was forced to forfeit a pair of matches in the 6-1 loss to Osceola. Of the matches that were contested Hope Lowney (No. 1 singles), LaVigne (No.3 singles), Maddy Jensen and Paige Dvorak (No. 1 doubles) and Quigley and Salewski (No. 2 doubles) all came up with straight set wins for the Chieftains.
“The girls are playing really well right now,” Friedrichsen noted. “Of course, there are some things that we need to be working on and I am looking forward to this week because we have three days of practice before we play Amery at home. That will be the real test of how we are doing. The girls will have to be able to attack soft second serves, know their placement of the balls and get serves in to have success against Amery.”
Osceola hosts Amery on Sept. 12.