Indians taking tournament win momentum into district play

Posted Monday, Sep. 16, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The Keller tennis team recently took home the Richland Tournament title and has been on a roll ever since. They picked off Saginaw, Weatherford, Aldo and Hebron to go 4-0 en route to the championship.

After picking up the team title, Keller has gone 7-2 in matches this season and was 3-0 in district matches headed into Tuesday’s tilt with Richland.

Although the Indians didn’t face the Rebels in their own tournament, Keller head coach Dave Vinsant said Richland is expected to be in the upper tier of the district along with Carroll and Northwest.

The fall season is based on team totals of boys and girls singles and doubles matches for scoring.

The team concept bodes well for Keller, as team chemistry seems to be a driving force in the success of the team thus far.

“This team works very hard, is improving and works well together,” Vinsant said. “There’s good chemistry and they’re very coachable. I’m proud of how they’re improving and competing. We’ve had good team wins with different people stepping up at different times.”

Katie Carter, a senior, said she’s been impressed with how the team has come together. “This year, we’ve bonded a lot faster than last year,” she said. “It’s been faster than I’ve seen before.”

The team has developed despite the vast mix of upper and lower classmen as well as new faces and returning players.

In addition to Carter, senior girls include Claire Beckley, Meagan Moore and the number 1 singles player, Tiffany Bountaseuth.

The boys are anchored by sophomore Andrew Le and seniors Forrest Rice, a move-in from Oklahoma and key contributors Taylor Elliott, Nathan Gibbs and Dorian Dandoy.

“We’re working really well as a team,” Moore said. Playing the No. 2 girls doubles with partner Rebecca Jerome, Moore said the team attitude is family-like.

For instance, Moore said, the team is participating together in community events such as the “Run in the Dark” to benefit the Community Storehouse.

The team finished second in district last year and intends to have an equally successful run this year.

New this year, though, is that the top four teams from each district will next advance to an area round match whereby the top two teams will then move on to a regional event.

“We’re hoping to move on,” Carter said of taking a top spot in district and advancing to regionals, “but we’re not making assumptions of winning, but I definitely feel we’re in the running.”

Carter also said the hard work and constant improvement was evident in the success so far and it is satisfying to see it paying off.

“We are excited and doing well,” Carter said. “And we’re doing better from the few matches we’ve had, and it’s always nice to see improvement.”

Moore said if the Indians continue on this pace, they’ll certainly be one of the teams to beat in district.

“It’s hard to tell right now,” Moore added, “but I think we’re on track to be one of the top teams.”

Both Carter and Moore said there’s a secondary benefit to a strong fall season.

The success can spill over to the spring season, they said, as the team’s confidence builds.

“It’s reassuring,” Carter said. “There’s a carryover to know that you can do it and it’s an achievable goal.”

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