Girls tennis previews: Five players to watch

Angela Moniaga

Senior | Mariner

Most top tennis players begin playing and taking lessons as very young children. Not Moniaga. Despite taking just three years of tennis lessons, the Marauders senior has emerged as one of the top players in Wesco.

Moniaga missed out on state last year, placing fifth at the district tournament. Though she came up short of state, she competed very well against the third and fourth-place finishers, taking both to a decisive third set. Her coach Richard Mar said she is the best player to play at Mariner in nearly two decades when Rina Finley advanced to state in 1996.

Mar expects that Moniaga will contend for a state berth this season, though the road will be difficult. Only the top two players at districts get automatic berths to state and the Wesco 4A bracket will be very deep.

Myint-Zu Kyaw

Junior | Edmonds-Woodway

Kyaw is entering her third season as Edmonds-Woodway’s No. 1 singles player. As a freshman she was an alternate for the state tournament and she placed fifth as a sophomore, one spot behind Wesco 4A South rival Sally Park of Kamiak.

Park and Kyaw squared off for the district championship last year with Park winning 6-1, 6-0. They are the favorites to get back to that point this season.

Edmonds-Woodway coach Dan Crist said Kyaw’s work ethic has helped her find success in tennis and said she is a “team leader and incredibly coachable.”

Caroline Dreher

Senior | Snohomish

Dreher finished third in last season’s 4A District 1 tournament behind Kamiak’s Sally Park and Edmonds-Woodway’s Myint-Zu Kyaw and was one victory short of advancing to state, losing in a Wesco/Kingco crossover match for the final spot singles spot from District 1 and District 2.

Dreher took Kyaw to three sets in the district semifinals before ultimately losing 4-6, 6-4, 3-6. So far this season Dreher is off to a fast start, winning her first five matches. Her goal this season is to break through to the state tournament.

“She has worked real hard in the offseason,” Jansen said. “I’m looking forward to the (Wesco) crossover matches to really get a true measure of how much she’s improved since last year.”

Sally Park

Senior | Kamiak

Park is the favorite to repeat as the district champion and will attempt to improve on her fourth place finish at state each of the past three seasons. While Park has enjoyed significant individual success at Kamiak, coach Heidi Bloemker said Park has always been a team player.

“She cares about each player on the team, involving everyone in all activities,” Bloemker said. She doesn’t set herself apart from others because of her successes. Instead, she is a humble player, always willing to help out. She’s been a wonderful addition to our team over the past three years.”

Park is a co-captain along with senior Jenna Gilbert this season.

Daniella Brengelmann

Senior | Shorewood

Brengelmann took over at No. 1 singles for the Thunderbirds midway through the season year ago, defeating senior Francesca O’Malley for the position. Brengelmann and O’Malley teamed up later in the season as doubles partners and placed fourth in state. The pair also placed seventh in state in 2012.

Brengelmann will attempt to advance to state as a singles player for the first time this season.

“I have seen a lot of improvement in her singles game and believe she is one of the top three singles players in the Wesco South and district 1,” Shorewood head coach Arnie Moreno said. “Daniella’s strength in singles is her match focus, consistency, aggressiveness and court demeanor. She rarely lets her emotions show on the court during matches and is very strong in her match strategy.”

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