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Coastal Conference 2022 girls tennis preview: Capsules for teams from West Michigan Conference

North Muskegon, Whitehall look to continue building upon successes.

Girls tennis programs from North Muskegon and Whitehall are quite familiar with success.

The Norse and Vikings will look to build upon their successes in the 2022 season. Their schools are members of the West Michigan Conference, but both teams compete in the Coastal Conference for tennis.

Here is the predicted order of finish in the Coastal Conference this season per coaches’ anonymous feedback:

  • North Muskegon
  • Grant
  • Whitehall
  • Fremont

Here are capsule previews for the Norse and Vikings:

NORTH MUSKEGON NORSEMEN

Coach: Cody Liverance (6th season)

Last year’s records: 16-1-3 overall (3-0-0 in Coastal Conference, first place)

Returning starters:

Noa Bowen (Sr., likely No. 1 singles)

Gabby Gaston (Sr., likely No. 2 singles)

Natalie Lorenz (Sr., likely No. 1 or No. 2 doubles)

Fia Lindsay (So., No. 3 or No. 4 singles)

Ella Tarrant (Jr., No. 1 or No. 2 doubles)

Anna Toebe (Jr., No. 1 or No. 2 doubles)

Marilyn Gaston (So., No. 1 or No. 2 doubles)

Francine Vinson (Jr., No. 3 or No. 4 singles)

Returning letterwinners:

August Carefelle (Jr., No. 3 doubles)

Allie Sanocki (Jr., No. 3 doubles)

Jasmine Rottman (Jr., likely No. 4 doubles)

New varsity prospects:

Brenna Staley (Sr., likely No. 4 doubles)

Gracie Philpot (So., likely reserve player)

Emily Crawford (So., likely reserve player)

Returning stat leaders:

Noa Bowen (22-3 record at No. 2 singles; city runner-up, regional champion, state quarterfinalist, first-team all-conference, second-team all-area, honorable mention all-state)

Gabby Gaston (27-2 record at No. 1 doubles; city champion, regional champion, state semifinalist, first-team all-conference, first-team all-area, first-team all-state)

Marilyn Gaston (21-6 record at No. 4 doubles; city champion; state champion)

Season outlook: North Muskegon looks to sport a strong team again, as the Norse return eight of 12 starters from last year’s squad that finished third at the Division 4 state finals. Their strength will be in the singles lineup, according to Liverance, as two all-staters return plus two girls who played similar flights last season. Liverance said the doubles teams should have success, too, but they’ll have to make a big jump as they’ll be playing at least a flight higher than last season. Depth could be the biggest question mark for North Muskegon, which will be very strong at the top but lacks experience as you move throughout the lineup. Liverance still believes the Norse can accomplish most of their team goals, which include winning city, conference and regional titles. Again, North Muskegon hopes to qualify for the state finals as a team and make another run at a top-five finish. A state championship or runner-up finish means a banner will hang on the gymnasium wall.

WHITEHALL VIKINGS

Coach: Greg McManus (13th season)

Last year’s records: 8-1-1 overall (tied for second place in Coastal Conference)

Returning starters:

Lucy Zamojcin (So., No. 1 singles)

Jennifer Mark (Sr., No. 2 singles)

Mackenzie Hall (Jr., No. 3 singles)

Mylee Boyd (Sr., No. 4 singles)

Lacey Herbert (Sr., doubles)

Chloe Christensen (Sr., doubles)

Autumn Ferris (Jr., doubles)

Lizbeth Bentz (Jr., doubles)

Addy Bernhardt (Jr., doubles)

Skyler Tovey (Sr., doubles)

New varsity prospects:

Grace McDowell

Brianna Bentz

Season outlook: Whitehall is trying to build upon last season, when the Vikings tied for second in the Coastal Conference and in the city tournament, placed second at regionals and finished 15th in the state. McManus said his team will be leaning on its depth this season.

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