Evan Thompson / The Record — South Whidbey senior Ally Lynch hits a nerf ball during a practice moved indoors because of rain Wednesday.

Evan Thompson / The Record — South Whidbey senior Ally Lynch hits a nerf ball during a practice moved indoors because of rain Wednesday.

Team keep tough bi-district tournament in mind | SPRING SPORTS PREVIEW

South Whidbey girls tennis hardly went a day without having to practice inside because of rain.

The Falcons made it to day three of the preseason before having to practice in the school’s main gymnasium.

The weather aside, South Whidbey is optimistic about the upcoming season.

The Falcons won the class 1A District 1 tournament in 2017, but lost experience in varsity players like Alex Foode and Bayley Gochanour, who graduated.

Junior Mary Zisette is the Falcons’ most experienced returning player with two appearances in one of the toughest bi-district tournaments in the state.

Three of the top eight finishes in the class 1B/2B/1A state girls tennis tournament. — Forest Ridge, Overlake and Seattle Academy — are in the Emerald City League, which the Falcons compete with in the postseason.

“They hit a lot harder and can place the ball really well,” Zisette said.

Jennifer Gochanour and Bess Windecker-Nelson are also taking over for Karyle Kramer, who is stepping back from coaching this season because of personal reasons.

“It’s a tough bi-district, but I look forward to having a successful season,” Jennifer Gochanour said.

The Falcons have one of the biggest teams of all the spring sports, with two seniors, 10 juniors, 12 sophomores and 19 freshmen.

“That’s a huge number of brand new players and we’re really excited to see how they progress through the year,” Gochanour said.

Ally Lynch and Robynn Maciel, who fell short of bi-districts last season, said they are hoping to make the most out of their senior year, despite the odds of the Emerald City League stacked against them in singles play.

“I think it really set a goal for this year,” Maciel said. “I want to get a little further.”

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