Last season’s recap: Fort Atkinson collected a 1-14 record and took eighth in the Badger South. In postseason action, the Blackhawks tied for seventh at subsectionals and tied for 14th at sectionals.
Coach’s resume: Mike DeRubeis will be the head coach of the Blackhawks for the 14th season in 2020.
Top returners: Olivia Granec returns as a team captain and the Blackhawks’ No. 1 singles player. Brynn Torrenga also is a team captain for Fort Atkinson and will play at No. 1 doubles. Ester Jones is set to be Torrenga’s No. 1 doubles partner.
Angela Unate and Christa Sebranek come back at No. 2 doubles.
Departing players: The Blackhawks lost three players from last season: Cassidy Becker at No. 4 singles and Lizzie Adelmeyer and Hilde Rue at No. 3 doubles.
Season thoughts: “Fort Atkinson will continue to follow the ‘all-in’ philosophy that was established three seasons ago,” DeRubeis said. “Our all-in philosophy starts in our commitments to the girls tennis team, Fort Atkinson High School, being leaders and setting a positive example.
“We are focused on taking advantage of our opportunity to play while focusing on player and team safety in the process.”
Last season’s recap: The L-Cats finished 22-0 in the regular season and won their second straight Capitol North Conference title in 2019. Jena Smith made it to the Division 2 state tournament at No. 1 singles. Julianna Wagner and Gabby Mahr advanced to state at No. 1 doubles and Mia Kroll and Makaylah Legel also punched their ticket to the state tournament at No. 2 doubles.
Coach’s resume: Stephanie Hanke enters her first season coaching the L-Cats.
Top returners: Claudia Curtis returns as the L-Cats top player in singles play.
“Claudia has a lot of grit and puts 110 percent in every practice,” Hanke said. “She has a lot of confidence and placement in every shot.”
Lake Mills also returns Mahr and Isabel Retrum in doubles action.
“These girls are a new duo this year,” Hanke said. “But both have great attributes to add to each other. Gabby is very smart with every play and Isabel has some of the best skills I have seen. Together they make a very tough duo.”
Departing players: The L-Cats lose five players from last year’s conference championship team, from either graduation or from player injuries.
“Molly Williams, Hannah Alexander and Brooke Sehmer have really stepped up in leading the team,” Hanke said.
Wagner is still on the team after making state at No. 1 doubles last season, but is out with a knee injury. Hanke noted the multi-sport star has been practicing, helping the girls and being a leader on the sidelines.”
Season thoughts: “Losing five girls from last year is not easy and many girls have had to step up into new roles,” Hanke said. “These girls have been working hard from day one and I know they will do amazing things.”