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Madison Lady Bulldogs will usher in new era for high school tennis - Daily Leader Extra : Sports

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Madison Lady Bulldogs will usher in new era for high school tennis

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Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2019 3:34 pm

Robb Graham, in his seventh year as the Madison Lady Bulldogs tennis coach, welcomed 15 players to the first practice of the season.

Madison will be ushering in a new era in South Dakota tennis. This is the first year for two classes of tennis, and Madison will be in Class A, along with Aberdeen Roncalli, Huron, Lennox, Milbank, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City Christian, Spearfish, Vermillion and Yankton.

Four of Graham's 15 players this year are seniors: CC Graham, Emma Kruger, Mya Maxwell and Lily Wolff. Others on the team are junior Emily VanLiere; sophomores Bella Maxwell and Suzie Voss; freshmen Bailey Gonyo, Evelyn Graham and Savannah Shipley; eighth-graders Callie Bounds, Izzy Lawson and Christian Rowe; and seventh-graders Kassi Kaufman and Macy Patch.

A major strength for the Lady Bulldogs this fall is experience.

"All four seniors have a lot of playing experience, which is very beneficial," said Graham. "Experience is our best strength."

However, Kruger is the only returning player who placed in the state meet last season. She placed seventh in her singles flight.

According to Graham, the girls reported to fall camp ready to play.

"Most of them completed the summer program, and that is a big advantage for the girls," Graham said.

One of Graham's major concerns is replacing Morgan Wray.

"Morgan graduated last year and she was a very consistent player," he said. "She played flight two singles, so almost everyone has to move up a flight this season."

Ashley Aguirre also graduated in May.

Madison will go to Rapid City this weekend for the Rapid City Invitational. Madison will face Rapid City Central, Rapid City Christian and Spearfish.

"The next two weeks will let us know where we are and what we need to work on," Graham said. "It will be a very competitive lower division, so hopefully we can maintain our form throughout the season and have a fun year."

Scott Staiger will be helping Graham throughout the season.

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