The Rolla Lady Bulldogs tennis program is ready to serve in 2019 under first year coach Cody Martin.

The Rolla Lady Bulldogs tennis program is ready to serve in 2019 under first year coach Cody Martin.

Last year the Lady Bulldogs had 7-7 record with a 2-2 Ozark Conference record and Martin offered plenty of kind words for his predecessor Joe Schisler.

“Coach Schisler is an amazing coach who stepped down last year. He has done such a great job at building this program into what it is today,” the new coach stated. “The returners I have this year already have the hard work and discipline instilled in them to get better, and I do not want to change that mentality. Being a new coach, I will have my own style with different drills and teaching cues that will be a change from last year.”

Among Martin’s goals are to maintain a .500 record and continue to have a hard working team that helps one another improve as individual tennis players.

The team has 28 players this season with a majority of them being sophomores at 13. There are nine juniors, four freshmen and three girls are returning from last season as seniors. They are Mya Burken, Kathleen Beetner, and Molley Hardwick.

Beetner was ranked third on the team while both Hardwick and Burken were both consistently in the top 10.

“We have a lot of talented juniors as well that will be competing for the top six such as Kayla Decker, Sheri Chan, and Paige Taylor,” Martin noted.

The first week of practice will consist of teams going through a tournament to help decided their places.

“We have a lot of players that are so evenly matched that it is hard to predict who will get top six for varsity or even the 7-12 spots for junior varsity,” the coach pointed out. “Having so much depth is a good sign for the season as players will continually get better playing with teammates of their own skill level or better.”

He also said this about some of the tougher games this season, “Conference games will be huge for us. We want to put ourselves in the best opportunity we can for tournament seedings.”

The Lady Bulldogs will begin the season on September 3 at Jefferson City High School where they will take on the Lady Blue Jays. Their first home game is against the Columbia Rock Bridge Lady Bruins on September 4 next to the Center in Rolla.