Railer girls' tennis team looks to improve

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Newton High School senior Madelynn Hamm is one of four letterwinners returning for the Railers.

Player to watch:

• Senior Madelyn Hamm

Coach’s pick for top opponents:

AV-CTL I – Salina South.

Non-League — Salina Central, Kapaun-Mt. Carmel, Bishop Carroll.

Schedule:

Aug. 26 @ Salina Central Inv. 3 p.m.

Sept. 2 @ McPherson Inv. 3 p.m.

Sept. 7 Newton Inv. 3 p.m.

Sept. 14 @ Valley Center Inv. 3 p.m.

Sept. 16 @ Andover Inv. 9 a.m.

Sept. 21 @ Wichita Collegiate Inv. 3 p.m.

Sept. 23 @ Winfield Inv. 3 p.m.

Sept. 27 @ Emporia Inv. 3 p.m.

Sept. 30 @ Hutchinson Inv. (Fairgrounds TC) 10 a.m.

Oct. 4 AV-CTL I @ Oakdale Park, Salina 8 a.m.

Oct. 9 Regionals @ TBA

Oct. 15-16 State @ Emporia

The Newton High School girls’ tennis team returns four of six from its varsity lineup last season and will look to get past last season’s finishes.

The Railers are coached by Nick Sisson, in his 16th season. He is assisted by Jennifer Duncan, in her first year.

The Railers were fifth in the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I meet and sixth at the Class 5A regional meet.

“It's been three years since we've had a state qualifier for girls,” Sisson said. “Our goal this year is to get some of our girls to state.”

Returning letterwinners include seniors Madelynn Hamm, Hallie Watkins and Katie McMullin; and sophomore Lucy Buller.

Hamm was 17-15 in singles last season. Watkins and Buller finished 3-9 in doubles play. McMullin went 1-13 in doubles play.

Others looking to crack the varsity lineup include sophomore Haley Ruth, and freshmen Natalie Hershberger, Carly Franz and Mara Oswald.

Sisson called the top opponents for the Railers this season Salina Central, Salina South, Kapaun-Mt. Carmel and Bishop Carroll. Carroll is the defending Class 5A champion, while Kapaun was second.

Mark Schnabel can be reached at mschnabel@thekansan.com