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Tennis: Osakis reloads with a lineup that expects to compete near top of Section 6A

The Silverstreaks once again have a deep lineup that enters 2022 with expectations of being competitive against a tough schedule that includes state-power Litchfield in Section 6A.

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Osakis' Ellie George gets to a return against Minnewaska on Sept. 16, 2021. George is back as a senior this season to help anchor a Silverstreaks team that expects to be a top contender in the Prairie Conference and Section 6A fields again.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press
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OSAKIS — Osakis girls tennis coach Ryan Maddock’s career record is a testament to how the Silverstreaks’ program is able to reload and make competitive teams each season.

Maddock is entering his 16th year leading Osakis and he comes into 2022 with a 247-47 record. His team will once again have to replace some talented seniors who were part of a 15-7 team in 2021 that finished as the Section 6A runner-up. But there are more good tennis players ready to take their turn in leading this program.

“We expect to have a very competitive team this season and hope to have a contending team in our section,” Maddock said. “We have graduated 11 strong players the last two seasons, so we expect to have some ups and downs as players get experience in new positions or get acclimated to varsity-level competition. We play a really tough schedule with a lot of top AA competition, so getting wins some days could be tough. In the long run, it will help prepare us for section tournament play where we hope to contend with state powerhouse Litchfield and also strong programs in Minnewaska and New London-Spicer.”

Osakis lost its top singles player from a year ago in Mara VanNyhuis. She wrapped up her career with 107 wins.

Kennedy George (4-year starter), Lexi Spychalla (4-year letter winner), Makenzie Lien (4-year letter winner), Tessa Stanek (2-year letter winner) and Hatti Schmidtbauer (3-year letter winner) were also key pieces lost to graduation.

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“I think we are a deep team so we should have good opportunities to get four wins out of the seven scoring matches that are played,” Maddock said. “We don’t have to rely on just a few spots to get wins. We should have opportunities in each match. We have coachable players who are successful people outside of tennis and have potential to be very good leaders in life.”

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Osakis' Larissa Hoffarth hits a backhand return against Minnewaska on Sept. 16, 2022. Hoffarth returns during the 2022 season with a lot of prior varsity experience to help lead Osakis this fall.
Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

Seniors Ellie George and Larissa Hoffarth, and freshman Leah Maddock will be Osakis’ most experienced returning players. Maddock made the state tournament in 2021 as an 8th-grader playing second singles in the lineup. Hoffarth and Maddock will move up a spot in the singles lineup, while George will work with a new doubles partner at the No. 1 spot.

“They should be three of the stronger players in our area,” coach Maddock said. “Bria Hoffarth, Madeline Anderson and Bella Weisser have looked good so far in practice and will help in either the singles or doubles lineup. Madi Collins, Brenna Moen, and Lauren Anderson are returners to our doubles lineup and look ready to have successful seasons.”

Maddock said Lyndsey Middendorf, Jaclyn Dietrich, Kayla Kulzer, Ambrosia Steinbrecher, and Cora Mathews are players coming off successful junior varsity seasons who will help contribute to the varsity team.

Osakis enters the season as the top team in the Prairie Conference again and will try to compete with Litchfield atop the Section 6A field. Maddock sees the Dragons as a heavy favorite right now after bringing back the majority of their team from a second-place finish at state.

“With our schedule, the girls will have to be tough minded and not get down if we have some days that don’t go our way,” Maddock said. “We play some very strong teams this year, so the overall win-loss record could be down from what we are used to, but it hopefully will help the girls when we get into section tournament play. We have the potential to be a very good team, but it may take some time as girls get used to playing up a level in the lineup.”

2022 OSAKIS GIRLS TENNIS ROSTER - SENIORS - Madi Collins, Ellie George, Larissa Hoffarth, Kayla Kulzer, Cora Mathews, Lyndsey Middendorf, Ambrosia Steinbrecher

JUNIORS - Lauren Anderson, Madeline Anderson, Bria Hoffarth, Brenna Moen

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SOPHOMORES - Morgan Baker, Jaclyn Dietrich, Reese Eurle, Aubrey George, Lucy Glenetske, Brooklyn Holmquist, Rylee Humble, Callie Slaamot, Katie Uhl

FRESHMEN - Maddi Bouldin, Stella Durdiyev, Ava Drevlow, Payton Drum, Leah Maddock, Madison Proctor, Faith Schmidtbauer, Mackenzie Steele, Bella Weisser

COACHES - Head coach - Ryan Maddock, 16th season, 247-47; Assistant coaches - Amy Infanger, Pat Stier, Taylor Winberg

OSAKIS GIRLS TENNIS SCHEDULE

Aug. 19 at Pequot Lakes Tri, 9 a.m.

Aug. 22 Home Quad, 9 a.m.

Aug. 25 Delano Tournament, 9 a.m.

Aug. 26 at LPGE Quad, 8 a.m.

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Aug. 30 at St. John’s Tri, TBD

Sept. 6 at Litchfield, 4:15 p.m.

Sept. 8 at Pierz, 4:15 p.m.

Sept. 10 at Alexandria, 10 a.m.

Sept. 15 at Benson, 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 24 at Brainerd Quad, 9 a.m.

Sept. 27 vs New London-Spicer, 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 29 vs Minnewaska, 4 p.m.

Oct. 1 at Elk River Invite, 8 a.m.

Oct. 4 at Foley, 4 p.m.

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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