There seems to be no lack of enthusiasm with the 2021 Roseburg High School girls tennis team.
Following an 8-0 dual meet win over North Medford, RHS head coach Jeremy Root had members of his team do a “Go ‘Burg” chant before leaving the Umpqua Valley Tennis Center on Tuesday evening.
After seeing the 2020 season get canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s obvious this group is grateful to be back playing and competing.
“I was depressed for months (after the 2020 season was lost),” senior Lauren Sandfort said. “I didn’t get a tennis season, didn’t get a golf season. Everything was shut down. I’m a busy person, and I couldn’t go anymore. I’m really glad we get to be out here.”
“It was definitely upsetting because we had worked so hard for it, and me and Lauren had played our whole life to be able to play together in high school,” senior Hannah Root added. “I’m just happy we got this season because our senior year was the most important to us.”
Sandfort and Hannah Root, the daughter of the coach, are Roseburg’s No. 1 doubles team and are the most experienced players returning from the 2019 season. Abby Medak is the other senior on the squad.
“It’s so exciting to see them out here screaming, yelling and playing in the sun,” Jeremy Root said. “I was so sick that they spent so long just doing nothing. They’re competing, but there’s so much more to it being in a team sport.
“I can’t believe they missed a whole year of it. Every girl on the team has a good attitude and is fun to be around. It’s already starting off to be a really good time.”
Sandfort — who divides her time between golf and tennis during the spring — and Hannah Root had no problem with their doubles opponent. They defeated North Medford’s Hadley Dunleavy and Jade Young 6-0, 6-1.
“The game we lost was my bad,” Sandfort said. “Hannah had great serves, we had great net play and worked well as a team.”
“I think our chemistry is really good,” Hannah Root said. “We both have our ups and downs, and that compensates for each other. Today’s match went really well. This was a better team we played than last time, but we still did our best.”
Coach Root likes how they play together.
“They’re good, they’re competitive,” he said. “I think they might run the table this year, but we’ll see. What they lack in experience (as a team at the high school level), they’ll make up for it by wanting to win more.”
Sandfort, by the way, is playing with a torn right biceps muscle.
“I can’t hit overhead,” she said. “I have to serve underhanded. It doesn’t affect my golf game ... mainly it’s those overhead motions.”
Roseburg also got doubles wins from Karissa Wattman and Medak, and Sarah Bryan and Kambria Stone.
The Indians have a talented newcomer in freshman Isabelle Zumpft, who’s their No. 1 singles player.
Zumpft, the daughter of UVTC director of tennis Martin Zumpft, handled Molly Milligan of North Medford 6-1, 6-2.
“I thought it went pretty well,” Zumpft said. “I felt like I had a good rhythm and was finishing off points well.
“I’m pretty serious, I want to go to college and play. I feel like I need to improve my serve and consistency, being aggressive and moving into the net. I’m pretty confident with my ground strokes and moving side by side.”
Jeremy Root is impressed with Zumpft’s game.
“Honestly, her potential is pretty unlimited,” he said. “She can do whatever she wants. I’d like to see her play (with the high school team) next year, she’s really good.”
The Tribe’s other singles player in action, freshman Kamryn Wattman, won in straight sets.
Jeremy Root said a one-day district tournament is tentatively planned for May 20.
Roseburg 8, North Medford 0
Isabelle Zumpft, R, def. Molly Milligan, NM, 6-1, 6-2; Kamryn Wattman, R, def. Henry Taylor, NM, 6-1, 6-1; Audrey Goins, R, won by forfeit; Ava Goins, R, won by forfeit.
Hannah Root-Lauren Sandfort, R, def. Hadley Dunleavey-Jade Young, NM, 6-0, 6-1; Karissa Wattman-Abby Medak, R, def. Hayley Chung-Shelly Chung, NM, 6-0, 6-1; Sarah Bryan-Kambria Stone, R, def. Megan Burnett-Sarah Grossmeyer, NM, 6-1, 2-6, 10-6; Symone Rust-Kayla Taylor, R, won by forfeit.