Women's tennis team gears up

By Thanavin Chum - Staff Reporter

Highline's tennis team will take to the court once more after an almost 25 -ear absence.

The team competes in the Northwest Athletic Conference. 

The Lady T-Birds first lost the team due to a lack of funding but private donations and community sponsorships have regenerated the program. 

Head Coach Laura Rosa said she is thrilled for the opportunity to coach the team. 

Rosa has been involved in the tennis community for more than 20 years as a player, coach, teaching professional and tournament director.

"I couldn't be more honored or excited to be coaching the women's Thunderbird tennis team," Rosa said.

One of the tougher opponents the T-Birds will face this season are the Bellevue Bulldogs. The Bulldogs finished last season with a regional record of 6 – 0 and 8 – 4 overall as they went on to win the another NWAC championship. 

Under Head Coach Jason Chapman, the Bulldogs won the NWAC championship 11 of the last 12 seasons. 

Another team that was neck-to-neck with the Bulldogs last season and ended as the runner up was the Skagit Valley Cardinals. The Cardinals finished last season with a regional record of 4 – 2 and 6 – 4 overall.

The group that will represent the T-Birds include freshman Megan Hagerty from Graham-Kapowsin High School, where she helped her team win three league championships. 

Freshman Samantha McElwain, a determined competitor, was a two-year captain at Fife High School where she went 12 – 0 league play in her senior year. 

Freshman McKenzie Hawkins comes from Central Kitsap High School and is ranked 34th in the Pacific Northwest open division. 

Freshman Sierra Silva was a four-year standout at Auburn Mountainview High School and was the South Puget Sound League 3A double league champion in 2016. 

Coach Rosa said she is proud of her group but what surprised her even more is how well her group has been doing academically. 

"Thus far my most proud moment was when they combined to earn a team cumulative 3.8 GPA last fall," said Rosa. 

The T-Birds' first game of the regular season will be against the 2016 champion Bulldogs. 

The game will be at Robinswood Tennis Court in Bellevue on March 11, at 2 p.m.

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