By DAVE HANNEMAN
When it comes to Findlay High’s fall tennis roster, the most experienced name on the list might be that of the head coach.
Sean Swisher is replacing Ray Elbin in charge of the girls tennis program. And while Swisher can technically be called a “first-year” head coach, he brings an impressive resume to the position.
Swisher accumulated a 47-29 record as Findlay High’s girls tennis coach from 2011-2014. He’s also been the boys tennis coach for several years, and last spring guided the Trojans to their first Three Rivers Athletic Conference boys championship.
Swisher may be facing more of a rebuilding than a reloading season with this year’s girls team, however.
Findlay featured a senior-deep roster a year ago. Ten players graduated, including the No. 1 (Lauren Spaeth) and No. 2 (Becca Mathews) singles players and top two doubles teams (Katelynn Coleman and Kaylor Stocker at No. 1, Margaret McGhee and Izzy Zalat at No. 2) from a group that went 10-10 overall, 3-4 in head-to-head Three Rivers Athletic Conference matches and finished fifth in the final league standings.
Swisher does have five returning letterwinners to build around headed by senior Megan Earhart. Earhart will take over at No. 1 singles after playing No. 3 singles last season. She placed third in the TRAC tournament and earned honorable mention all-league honors.
Sophomore Sydney Swisher has emerged from intra-squad competition to claim the No. 2 singles spot. Battling for the No. 3 singles position will be senior Miyu Uchiyama, sophomores Mollie Quaid and Libby LaMaster, and freshman Ava Roach.
Senior twins Kelsey and Ashley Coleman will be looking to comprise one of the two varsity doubles teams.
Quaid, LaMaster and Uchiyama will also be in contention for doubles play, along with seniors Shayla McDonald and Katie Harp, juniors Katie Short and Laine Shenise, sophomore Madison Barberree and Roach.
Despite the heavy turnover in the starting lineup, Swisher likes Findlay’s returning balance.
“We had a lot of depth last year,” he said. “On any given day, our No. 1 through No. 12 players could probably compete with anyone. Those underclassmen did a good job of getting themselves ready for their moment to step up, which is coming up soon.”
Swisher felt added preparation over the sizzling summer months might pay off this autumn.
“These girls got out and worked on their games over the summer,” Swisher said.
“The courts were available for them to come out and hit two, three times a week. Most times we had a pretty good group show up, and it’s starting to show here later in the summer.
“It’s a great group of girls and they’re working hard. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do.”
2019 Findlay Girls Tennis Schedule
Aug. 9 — Bowling Green 4:30 p.m.
Aug. 12 — at Perrysburg 4:30 p.m.
Aug. 13 — Defiance 4:00 p.m.
Aug. 17 — at Norwalk Invitational 9:00 a.m.
Aug. 20 — Celina 4:30 p.m.
Aug. 21 — at Sylvania Northview 4:30 p.m.
Aug. 22 — Lima Senior (TRAC) 4:30 p.m.
Aug. 23 — Wapakoneta (OTCA) 4:30 p.m.
Aug. 27 — at Toledo St. Ursula (TRAC) 4:30 p.m.
Aug. 29 — at Fremont Ross (TRAC) 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 3 — at Toledo Notre Dame (TRAC) 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 4 — Elida 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 9 — Maumee 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 10 — Toledo Central Cath. (TRAC) 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 12 — at Toledo Whitmer (TRAC) 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 14 — at Fremont Doubles Tourney 9:00 a.m.
Oct. 17 — Oregon Clay (TRAC) 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 18 — at Wapakoneta 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 20 — TRAC Tournament 10:00 a.m.
Oct. 21 — TRAC Tournament 10:00 a.m.
Oct. 24 — Ottawa-Glandorf 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 26 — Lima Central Catholic 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 30 — Springfild 4:30 p.m.
Nov. 1 — Napoleon 4:30 p.m.