The Fairmont tennis team is set to return |  News, Sports, Jobs

ACES RETURN – Members of the Fairmont Cardinals spring tennis team that plays host to Worthington in its season opener April 9 at Cardinal Courts in Fairmont include, front row (left to right): Daniella Becerra, Simone Castro, Colton Schroeder, Lilly Ortega, and Juan Arias Ramirez. Middle Row: Assistant Coach Lara Ellis, Wylee Frederiksen, Anthony Stegge, Matthew Malo, Oliver Thedens, Tyler Slama, Carter Quist and Assistant Coach Tim Slama. Back Row: Assistant Coach Olivia Ortega, Sebastian Castro, Jonah Vetter, Leon Yang, Dominick Lund-May, Levi Loughmiller, Zachary Ashland, Jonathan Heinze and Head Coach Laura Olsen. Not Pictured: Reed Wagner. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)

FAIRMONT – The Fairmont spring tennis program features a new coach, and she’s definitely a familiar face to the Cardinal faithful following the sport in the fall.

Laura Olsen, who has transformed the Fairmont girls lineup into a state qualifier and regular sectional contender, will fill the void left by the departure of Eric Johnson after a long tenure as coach.

“I was an assistant coach under Eric last spring and I know the players, so it’s not too much of a change.” Olsen said. “Like in the fall, I have Tim (Slama) helping out the varsity coach, so that’s a big plus as well.

“Olivia Ortega went from player last spring to coach this year after graduation, and we added Lara Ellis to our staff, so it should be a good mix.”

Olsen and the Cardinals will play host to Worthington in their season-opening dual meet on April 9 at Cardinal Courts in Fairmont.

“Our schedule is pretty heavy domestically. Olsen said of her tennis lineup of 10 upcoming duals at Fairmont.

Olsen and her coaching staff will look to seven returning varsity veterans and one other experienced varsity player who missed all of last season with an injury to generate matchup points.

Sebastian Castro and Carter Quist will be a pair of seniors serving again after playing at No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles, respectively, during the 2023 Fairmont Team Meet Section 2A quarterfinals.

“Carter and Sebastian have taken the early initiative to schedule practices and have done a great job of teaching the younger and inexperienced players the game.” Olsen said. “Carter is likely to play the double position again in our lineup as he is a great strategist no matter who he is partnered with.

“We are working with Sebastian to get more comfortable in singles, although he has the ability to play doubles as well.”

Olsen sees junior Dominick Lund-May in a similar situation as Sebastian Castro, but knows the lefty will “He plays well wherever we put him in the lineup.”

Lund-May combined fielding skills with Quist at the no. 1 doubleheader during the Cardinals’ sectional team meet.

Junior Simone Castro and sophomore Wylee Frederiksen also return to the courts for Fairmont after competing at third and fourth singles, respectively, during the postseason team tournament.

“Simone is a strong doubles player and can play well with almost anyone she is paired with.” Olsen said. “Wylee is a player we are developing in both singles and doubles to give us more flexibility in our overall lineup.”

Freshman Anthony Stegge and eighth-grader Tyler Slama round out the Nets’ returning core after teaming at third doubles during sectional action a year ago.

“Tyler and Anthony both really love the game and play a lot of tennis year-round, and each has the ability to play whatever position — singles or doubles — we put them in.” Olsen said.

Junior Oliver Thedens returns to the field this spring after missing the entire 2023 season with an injury.

The starting four of Daniella Becerra, Matthew Malo, Jonathan Heinze and Reed Wagner will compete for playing time, along with Juan Arias Ramirez.

Sophomores Levi Loughmiller and Zachary Ashland, freshman Leon Yang, eighth-grader Jonah Vetter and seventh-graders Lilly Ortega and Colton Schroeder will round out the Cardinals’ roster this spring.

“Now we just need to get out there to hit in those conditions to figure out where everyone fits in our lineup.” Olsen said. “It’s great to see our older players teaching our youngsters about all aspects of the game.

“We encourage our players to lead in their own ways and believe they all bring something to the table with skill.”

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