Experience, depth will aid Larks’ cause in upcoming tennis season

Hesston College tennis coach Jeron Baker has enjoyed positive growth in his program throughout his tenure with the Larks. In the upcoming 2011 tennis season, the third-year coach anticipates perhaps his best team yet.

On the women’s side, sophomore Jenny Carter (Lexington, Mo.), along with freshman Alyssa Horst (Orrville, Ohio), Kendra Mast (Dundee, Ohio), Katie Miller (Albuquerque, N.M.), Taylor Funk (Russell, Kan.) and Shanda Zacher (Hackensack, Minn.) combine for an improved and deeper roster.

“Our women’s team has a good competitive balance,” Baker said. “On any given day, our six could beat our one.”

For the men, last year’s one, two, four and six return in David Tedone (North Richland Hills, Texas), Ryan Wengerd (Goshen, Ind.), Alex Roth (Hesston, Kan.) and Adam Weaver (Hesston, Kan.). That core will be strengthened by freshman Jordan Tompkins (Wellington, Kan.), Luke Miller (Wichita, Kan.) and Jake Painter (Springfield, Mo.). Sophomore Mitch Yoder (Kalona, Iowa) and freshman Austin Loucks (Goshen, Ind.), Claude Stickler (Goshen, Ind.) and Stephen Quenzer (Visalia, Calif.) will provide experience in doubles play.

“I’m excited about the energy and camaraderie I’ve seen thus far,” Baker said. “It’s a fun group to be a part of and I’m looking forward to watching the potential develop. We’ll surprise some people this year.”