The Jackson girls tennis team looks to be a contender despite not having a ton of returning varsity experience.
The Timberwolves have won three out of their first four matches, with the lone loss a 4-3 decision to Shorewood, traditionally one of the top teams in the Western Conference South Division.
The top two singles players are senior co-captains Rosana Tran and Annika Swenson. Thus far Tran is playing in the No. 1 slot.
Tran was the No. 3 singles player last season.
“She is very consistent,” said Jackson coach Judi Montgomery. “She has a solid forehand and backhand. She is just very tenacious. She gives 100 percent out there. I never have to worry about that.”
Swenson played No. 4 singles for the final third of last season. She almost is a virtual carbon copy of Tran in terms of her strengths.
“They’re similar players,” Montgomery said. “They’ll push each other all season long.”
While the top two singles slots have been established, the doubles lineup is in a constant state of flux, due to a number of issues.
“I couldn’t tell you who is one, two or three (in doubles),” Montgomery said. “I’m putting together all kinds of combinations.”
Montgomery also is dealing with some eligibility problems. This week one of the top doubles players is out of town on a recruiting trip.
“That’s kind of the way it’s been all season,” Montgomery said.
Despite all the shuffling around, Jackson still has the talent to compete in the league. In the loss to Shorewood, the Timberwolves almost pulled out the victory but lost the No. 3 doubles matches in three sets with the final set being 6-4.
“I’m very pleased so far,” Montgomery said.
Even though the Jackson roster includes eight seniors, most of them didn’t play varsity tennis last year.
“They’re just really average tennis players,” Montgomery said. “They’re just working real hard to get better.”
Jackson finished just one match behind league champion Edmonds-Woodway in 2008, tying with Shorewood for second place. The Wolfpack are scheduled to face Edmonds-Woodway, who is favored to defend its league title, on April 14.
“We hope to give them a run for their money,” Montgomery said.
As for the rematch with the Thunderbirds, Jackson will have to wait until April 29 to avenge that loss.