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Cougar tennis expects improvement in second season

August 21, 2018

KOKOMO, Ind. — The Indiana University Kokomo women’s tennis team began its second year of competition Tuesday, with an experienced team returning from last year, and four new players adding depth to the roster.

Second-year coach Kristine Miller is impressed with the work her team put in since the spring 2018 season, and anticipates success.

“In just our second year of competition, it’s definitely looking like we will be very competitive, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we come up with a few more wins this year than we did our first season,” she said. “As long as the girls keep playing the right way, working as hard as they can on and off the court, and representing IU Kokomo well, that will make me proud.”

The team won five matches in its inaugural season, and finished 4-4 in River States Conference play.

The first match, at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, was against Huntington University. All home matches are at the Foster Park Tennis Courts, 721 W. Superior Street. Admission is free.

The team of 11 players includes seven returning players and four freshmen.

“Having seven returning players with collegiate experience helps us as far as any nerves are concerned. The girls play very confidently,” Miller said. “We know what to expect at this level of competition. They’ve played all summer to prepare. The addition of our four freshmen gives us a depth we didn’t have in our inaugural season.”

Returning seniors are Adrianna Ward (Peru/Bethel College) and Laura White (Greentown/Eastern HS).

Miller said Ward, who played number one singles last year, has been strong in both doubles and singles in practice. She anticipates Ward will team up with junior Katie McCoy (Marion/Marion HS) at the top of the doubles line up. 

“Their power and shot placement will be a huge advantage to have at the top of the line up,” she said.

Sophomore Brianne Abrahamson (West Lafayette/West Lafayette HS) and freshman Hannah Hudson (Veedersburg/Fountain Central HS) will likely form some mixture at the top two and three in the singles line up, she said, “but that will be determined as the season goes on.”

White, the other senior on the team, is “a huge asset on and off the court,” Miller said, for her attitude and encouragement of teammates.

She noted great improvement from junior Makenzie Quinn (Russiaville/IU Bloomington) and sophomore Kelsey Kohlmorgan, who both put in a great deal of playing time to prepare, along with sophomore Katie Hart (Lebanon/Lebanon HS), who has great hustle and athleticism.

She has high expectations for the incoming freshman class, which also includes Betsy Powell (Peru/Maconaquah HS) and Mary Sayre, (Alexandria/Alexandria-Monroe HS), and Danielle McCord (Peru/Peru HS).

“The freshman have been attending hitting sessions throughout the summer and all of them were strong competitors in high school,” Miller said. “We will see how they transfer that into their collegiate game. They want to push their teammates and learn from them.”

Powell and Sayre have been “making some noise and are definitely in the mix for some match playing time,” and McCord has been “putting in the work each day and continuing to improve, helping us round out a team that will push one another during practice,” she said. 

Her goal is to finish in the top half of the conference, and for the student athletes to be successful in the classroom as well. 

“The wins and losses will take care of themselves. I think we will see some more success as far as wins are concerned.”

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 08/21/2018