The majority of last season's varsity athletes are back this year as the Patriot tennis team looks to improve upon an already solid 15-7 record.
Head coach Monica Sergent's team also tallied a 6-1 conference record in 2017, improving her 15-year career record to 223-75. This season, nine of those same athletes will continue to improve that record.
"These players work hard both during the season and in the offseason," Sergent said. "Most of them are able to play both singles and doubles, which gives us flexibility within our line up."
The hard work has paid off so far as the Patriots began the season on Saturday, Aug. 18, and have won four of their first five matches.
Letterwinners returning to the Patriots include senior captains Erin Bengtson and Morgan Mudgett, along with juniors Courtney Boller, Alexa Fyle, Madeline Pluimer, Elli Saxerud, Madeline Sherman and sophomores Afton Crocker and Morgan Lueck.
Sergent also expects contribution from Megan Muller, Grace Bonfig, Hailey Halverson, Madeline Lundgren, Sophie Littman, Whitney Fink, Kyara Crowley, Ashley Engholm, Katie Nelson, Carly Chaney, Riley Fogarty, Jordan Gartner, Maren Kimbler, Lexy Peterson, Hannah Taylor and Quinn Trottier.
"The strong work ethic, positive attitude and team chemistry with this group of girls makes them a lot of fun to coach," Sergent said. "I am hopeful that we will improve our tennis skills and be successful this season as well as enjoy ourselves together."
Chad Rudbeck is assistant coach for the Patriots, while Brenda Helmrichs and Deanne Trottier coach at the middle level.
The 2018 Pequot Lakes tennis team. Front row, from left: Alexa Fyle, Elli Saxerud, Erin Bengtson, Morgan Mudgett, Courtney Boller, Madeline Sherman and Maddie Plumier. Middle row: Megan Muller, Morgan Lueck, Afton Crocker, Maddie Lundgren, Whitney Fink, Grace Bonfig, Hailey Halverson, Carly Chaney and Riley Fogarty. Back row: Coach Chad Rudbeck, Kyara Crowley, Maren Kimbler, Jordan Gartner, Hannah Taylor, Katie Nelson, Quinn Trottier, Lexi Peterson and Coach Monica Sergent. Not pictured: Sophie Littman and Ashley Engholm.
18 - Osakis, Perham at Pequot Lakes, 9 a.m.
20 - Pequot Lakes at Crosby-Ironton, 10 a.m.
21 - Pequot Lakes vs. Eveleth-Gilbert at Forestview, 10 a.m.
23 - Pequot Lakes at Pierz, 9 a.m.
27 - Bemidji, Little Falls at Pequot Lakes, 10 a.m.
28 - Pequot Lakes at Park Rapids Quadrangular, 9 a.m.
30 - Pequot Lakes at Perham Quadrangular, 10 a.m.
7 - Glencoe-Silver Lake at Pequot Lakes, 4 p.m.
8 - Pequot Lakes at Brainerd Invitational, 9 a.m.
10 - Pequot Lakes at Long Prairie/GE Triangular, 1:30 p.m.
13 - Pequot Lakes at Staples-Motley, 4:15 p.m.
15 - Pequot Lakes at Mid-State Conference meet at Staples-Motley, 9 a.m.
17 - Pequot Lakes at Aitkin, 4:15 p.m.
20 - Crosby-Ironton at Pequot Lakes, 4:30 p.m.
25 - Wadena-Deer Creek at Pequot Lakes, 4 p.m.
4 - Section playoffs open, 4 p.m.