By DOUG DORNATH
Messenger Sports Writer
Fort Dodge Senior High senior Anna Bowser heads the list of returning letterwinners for the girls tennis team, which hopes to have another successful season on the courts in 2012.
Bowser, who was an individual singles state qualifier in 2010, came up one win short of returning to state last year as she placed third in the Regional singles meet, and is the leader of the squad this spring.
First-year head coach Karine Feddersen takes over a strong Dodger program built by former coach Pat Bennett.
Feddersen has 10 returning letterwinners to work with this spring and 75 players total on the roster. In 2012, the Dodgers have 12 seniors, 27 juniors, 14 sophomores and 12 freshmen on the roster. Fort Dodge lost 12 seniors to graduation including captains Emily Rasmussen, Marisa Gibson and Kristin Kuhlman.
Seniors - Anna Bowser, Kelsey Chingren, Chloe Elsbecker, Madison Martin, Sloane Morrow, Tiffany Olson, Rose Peterson, Mica Redenius, Kelsey Scott, Rochelle Starrett, Xinci Tan, Mandy Worrell.
Juniors - Morgan Bowman, Zoey Bratland, Jenny Eger, Brittney Fife, Jearra Freeman, Karlee Frein, McKellen Glassell, Kjerstin Grindberg, Shaila Hanson, Emaria Hickey, Jennifer Hiracheta, Haleigh Hood, Hannah Kenworthy, Mariah Knutson, Robyn Kockorsky, Alisa Leith, Alex Maas, Ashley McBride, Nichole Prelip, Ashton Pederson, Elizabeth Redmond, Miranda Roberts, Abby Shimon, Morgan Struche, Ruth Tomlinson, Mariah Welter, Serena Young.
Sophomores - Kelsey Albrecht, Sarah Ambof, Abigail Armstrong, Allison Birnbaum, Stephanie Boland, Emma Bruen, Ayenna Cagaanan, Jacey Craft, Lacey Craft, Natalie Dillon, Stephanie Dunbar, Erica Farv, Anna Gambill, Kari Grindberg, Jamie Haden, Hope Huggins, Maci Knutson, Morgan Lundberg, HarperLee Martin, Sydney Nagel, Breanna Pringle, Megan Simpson, Erin Trunnell, Elizabeth Thomas.
Freshmen - Brianna Barkema, Mackenzie Elsbecker, Beth Humphry, Emily Knight, Alex Lyon, Mackenzie Madsen, Priscilla Raile, Cecilia Regan, Alex Rogers, Elli Russell, Mivala Stienblock, Serena Young.
April 3: St. Edmond; 12: Ankeny; 17: Mason City; 19: at Des Moines East; 20: at Kuemper Catholic; 24: at Waukee; 26: Southeast Polk.
May 1: Marshalltown; 4: at Ames; 5: at Spencer Invitational; 8: at WDM Valley; 14: Sioux City North, Sioux City West; 17: at Regionals; 19: at Regionals; 21: at Regionals.
Along with Bowser, fellow seniors Xinci Tan, Rochelle Starrett, Kelsey Chingren, Sloane Morrow and Rose Peterson, along with juniors McKellen Glassell, Kjerstin Grindberg and Mariah Knutson, and sophomore Ayenna Cagaanan, all provide Feddersen with plenty of talent to work with.
She feels there are a some of other players on the roster vying for the remaining spots on the varsity line-up.
"The girls are currently competing in challenges to decide their position on the team," said Feddersen. "We do have few solid players returning, but there is a battle for the last few spots on the varsity lineup as there have been several matches that have ended in tie breaks."
A season ago, the Dodger girls lost to Ames in the regional team singles final, as the Little Cyclones went on to win another state championship in Class 2A. Bowser, Starrett and Chingren are three of the six singles players returning from the regional finals.
Feddersen said she is still experimenting with her match ups to find the right chemistry for her doubles teams this spring. Overall, Feddersen likes the direction and attitude her girls have had thus far in practices.
"The goal for this season is simply to improve," said Feddersen. "We have a variety of skill levels and experience.
"However, every girl is bringing something different to the team. Some have experience under their belt, where others have competitiveness or athleticism. I believe this mix will benefit us as the season progresses."
The Dodgers squad will take the court for its season opener at Dodger Courts Tuesday against St. Edmond.
The Dodgers also have home outings in April against Ankeny, Mason City and Southeast Polk. Fort Dodge hosts two events in May: Marshalltown, and a triangular meet against Sioux City North and Sioux City West.
Bobbie Westergaard returns as assistant coach for the Dodgers.