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Preseason Q&A with Pine City Girls Tennis Head Coach Kristin Unverzagt

What do you coach? What is your name? Who are your assistant coaches?

Girls’ Tennis

Head Coach: Kristin Unverzagt

Assistant Coaches: Jeff Adams, Nick Garmen, and John Eberhart

Welcome to Nick Garmen as he comes to us from Crookston. We are excited to have him on staff.

We also want to thank coach Brenda Kloeckl for her time and dedication to our program. Even though she has retired from her JV coaching position, she still continues to volunteer to work with our Dragon Sister program and summer tennis camps. We are grateful for her time and energy that she puts in our program.

Who are the team captains?

Allison Unverzagt and Malia Mikyska

What was your record last year and how do you expect that to compare with this season?

The girls tennis season finished strong last season with an overall record of 18-2. Our only losses were to Elk River and Rochester Lourdes. We were undefeated in the Granite Ridge Conference and played strong winning the section tournament and earning a trip to the state tournament. We finished as consolation champions at the state tournament. We also had Ella Sell, Addison Sell, Sophie Lahti, and Allison Unverzagt advance as individuals in the state tournament. With many experienced players returning, the girls have goals to have a strong conference and section finish again this year. Our section was realigned so we will now have Foley and Pequot Lakes to compete against, as well as the six competitive teams of last year’s section. Pequot Lakes is also joining the Granite Ridge Conferences for tennis. The team is looking forward to the new challenges that this season will present and getting ready to compete hard in preparation for the end of season play.

What is your expectation for the season?

The girls and coaching staff have high goals this season as the players have worked hard in the prior years and the off season to create an opportunity to be as strong as they are. Their determination and time is evident as they come ready to work and prepare for a strong and competitive season.

What are you most excited for this year?

I am most excited to work with the girls to see them build on the success of last year’s season and continue to improve their game. It is so fun to be with them on the court. They have great energy and are an amazing group of young women! They set high goals and bring a hard working energy to practice and matches. This year’s schedule will allow many opportunities for the players to improve and see many different teams from around the state. The girls had a strong finish last season and have high goals to continue to carry on the dragon tennis tradition.

How is the roster shaping up? Do you have a lot of new players? Are you returning a lot of players? Younger? Older? Etc.

We have nine returning varsity players that bring amazing leadership and experience to our roster: Malia Mikyska, Lena Roubinek, Lily Struss, Allison Unverzagt, Lexa Valvoda, Brenna Youngbauer, Brooke Boland, Vivian Lahti, and Alana Linnell . This will be a huge asset for our team to build on the strong finish that they had last season. The team will be led by captains Malia Mikyska and Allison Unverzagt. We also have upcoming players that have put in a lot of time this summer and will add depth to our program. It is so exciting to see the girls work together and use their experience to make our team competitive.

Can you say something positive about each of the would-be seniors on your team?

  • Ava Danielson brings a tough and competitive attitude to the court.

  • Malia Mikyska has a contagious spirit and amazing doubles play. She is also a great leader for our team in her actions and example.

  • Lena Roubinek brings strength and diversity with her play between singles and doubles.

  • Lilly Schneider has a positive attitude and willingness to work hard.

  • Lily Struss is determined and has high goals for the season.

  • Jena Tomczyk brings a great sense of humor to the team.

  • Allison Unverzagt brings a high work ethic and expectations to every practice and matches.

  • Lexa Valvoda works hard and does what is needed to put the team in a competitive position.

  • Brenna Youngauer competes hard and is a force in her doubles play.

What players (other than the seniors mentioned) are you expecting strength from and how?

We are fortunate to gain strength from all of our returning letter winners and younger players who are willing to work hard and practice hard. We are improving each time we step on the court and it is very exciting! We have depth and flexibility with this team and that is fun for the girls as we can mix up line ups and they have an opportunity to play singles or with different doubles partners.

Any upcoming milestones for your team? We will kick off our matches with a trip to St. James on Friday, August 18. We will then host our first home matches on Monday, August 21 as we welcome Litchfield, Mounds Park Academy, and Bemidji. Because we start before school begins, we have the opportunity to host some great teams from around the state. The pre-season matches give our team an opportunity to play a lot and see teams that we do not see during our regular season. We will also host a quad on Friday, August 25th at Pine City High School. We look forward to hosting Prineton, White Bear Lake, and Minnehaha Academy. We will begin conference play by hosting Pequot Lakes on September 7. The team has high goals to be competitive in the conference and section as they work hard in the pre-season to play as many matches as possible.

What are your goals?

Our goal is to continue to improve each time we are on the court. We want the players to push themselves and each other. With a team goal to improve something each time we are on the court, they will be a competitive team and have a lot of fun this season. The girls do a great job of pushing each other and have a drive to compete hard! Their determination and work ethic contributes to their success on the court and classroom.

Favorite upcoming games, matches, or meets?

The team is excited to have our tournament and quad match days. The pre-season quads are always fun to host great teams, but we also look forward to traveling to Hibbing for their annual tournament. The team is always excited about opportunities to play and spend time with each other on bus rides and overnight trips.

Anything else you want people to know about your team?

This team is experienced and brings high goals and energy to the season. Their team chemistry, smiles, and work ethic will be the key to our success this season. The players are great role models and have high expectations both on the court and in the classroom!

What is the best way to get updates on your team? Twitter, website, text updates, etc?

I will be happy to email our scores through tennis reporting and email updates with match highlights. Please let me know what works best for you. I also try to post updates on the Dragon Tennis facebook page. Feel free to like our page to get updates and photos.

Link to Schedule/Website:

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