Nixa tennis

Nixa's tennis team includes (front row, l-r) Chloee Kroutil, Adalie Schmitt, Lizzy Shaw, Kiersten Bybee, Karlie Hoskins, Ellie Martens, Emilia Bogun, Taylor Steele, Morgan Ansley, Isabel Edwards, Kaylee Chronister, (second row, l-r) Lily Maggard, Arabella Cosgrove, Mallory Yeary,  Carlotta Brodesser, Olivia Engleman, Madison Ellingsworth, Katelin Kramp, Anna Martens, Kali Pyle, Jazmin Hohmann, (third row, l-r) Karleigh Spence, Zoey Luna, Lakyn Olmstead, Gracie Woolfolk, Lauren Mitchell, Grace Martin, Shelby Jordan, Kaitlyn Pojar, Taryn Albers, fourth row, l-r) coach Brock Blansit, Treasure Bougher, Kylie Burk, Molly Craig, Jenelle Schmidly, Megan Brassard, Diana Petrashyshen, coach Jim Middleton, (back ow, l-r) Ashlyn Allison, Julia Hines and Kelsey Cook.

Megan Brassard’s jump from No. 4 singles to No. 1 singles will actually be the smallest leap any of Nixa’s top six players will be making this season.

With the Lady Eagles losing to graduation five  of their top six players from last season, coach Brock Blansit’s starting lineup will feature no one other than Brassard with varsity experience.

‘We lost a lot,” Blansit said. “A lot of our top jayvee girls last year were seniors, too. Our Nos. 2-6 players this year were as low as the mid-20s on our ladder last year.” 

Blansit won’t be surprised if Nixa struggles early on, before showing marked improvement by season’s end..

“The girls will give it their best shot,” he said. “They’re great kids and fun to be around. We’ll keep chugging along and by the end of the season, hopefully we’ll be competitive.

Then the ones who are underclassmen will be back next year with experience.”

Brassard got a late start to tennis, not picking up a racquet until two years ago. But she has devoted herself to practicing and playing since then.

“She’s the one girl on our team who plays year-round,” Blansit said. “She’s gotten so much better in two years. She’s got a great work ethic. She’s very consistent and keeps the ball in play.She’s got a great work ethic.”

Kirsten Bybee and Arabella Cosgrove will play at Nos. 2 and 3 singles.

“The other three spots there are six girls for those spots,” Blansit said. “They’ve been taking turns beating each other.”

Nixa debuts Sept. 3 at home versus Willard. The Lady Eagles are at Ozark on Sept. 10.

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