Experience key for Dodgers

Fort Dodge head girls tennis coach Karine Feddersen will have plenty of experience to work with on the courts this coming season.

Six letterwinners are back in the Dodger fold, though Jaci Cochrane is not one among them.

Cochrane, who won the school’s first-ever state individual title last spring as a freshman, is playing tennis nationally.

“Six from our varsity lineup are returning and the girls were out playing over the summer,” Feddersen said. “A few of them participated in the winter lessons at the racket club.”

Seniors Kari Grindberg, Kelsey Albrecht, Ayenna Cagaanan, Jamie Haden, Erika Farr and Allison Birnbaum are all looking to secure varsity spots, along with junior Emily Knight.

“We are expecting that our veterans will hold the top three-or-four spots in our lineup,” Feddersen said. “But there are a few openings in the bottom half where we could possibly see a few newcomers filling in.”

Grindberg and Knight were also state qualifiers last year, as they secured eighth in doubles. Knight is the younger sister of former FDSH state champion David Knight, who won gold in 2010.

Feddersen will have 33 players to work with, including 13 seniors. She is anticipating another strong season on the doubles side of action.

“Traditionally, our strength has been doubles,” she said. “With the strong conference competition that we will see this season, we will need to emphasis that part of our game.”

A handful of ninth-graders are already working with the returning varsity players, as Feddersen stated “they will be battling it out.”

Fort Dodge opens its season April 8 against intra-city rival St. Edmond.