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Rangerettes looking to continue improvement

By Geary Deniston
Contributing Writer
updated: 8/27/2019 1:33 PM

The resurrected Benton High School girls tennis team has flourished since former Rangerette Alyssa Williams took over, improving from 0-11 her first year to the program's first winning season since 2012 finishing 6-5 last year.
"Last year, the whole atmosphere changed - their attitude, the environment," Williams said. "They said it themselves by saying we're a family."
The girls team disbanded for three years after the 2012 season until it was resurrected in 2016.
"The three seniors are the ones that restarted the program as freshmen," Williams said. "Our biggest strength is having almost everybody back, so that all six of the varsity players have varsity experience."
Williams, who played from 2007 to 2010, returns five of her top six players and has hopes of not only improving upon last year's record, but advancing in the postseason, as well.
At sectionals, Benton tied for third, three points behind the winner. Senior Kaitlyn Younger won the sectionals in doubles and at state won three matches before being eliminated in the consolation fourth round.
Sophomore Taylor Moore takes over the No. 1 singles position after posting a 7-4 record at No. 2 last year.
Younger moves up to No. 2 after putting together an 8-2 mark at No. 4 last year, and sophomore Madison Kreiner is No. 3 again after posting a 7-4 record last year.
"Moore had already won the No. 1 (slot) before we found out last year's No. 1 wasn't coming back," Williams said.
Also moving up are junior Molly Goostree to No. 4 and senior Jordan Eickelman to No. 5. Senior Macy Shelton moves up from the junior varsity squad to play No. 6.
"Macy played a little varsity last year and then she went as my second singles player at sectionals," Williams said.
"We didn't have any seniors last year," Williams said. "This year, we've picked up some young players and have a full JV team. Our only incoming freshman, Jersey Smith, has a ton of potential.
"She's athletic and plays other sports," Williams said. "We have a sophomore, Chloe Hill, who is also a multi-sport athlete. She has drive and the passion to learn."

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