Three returning letter winners will be the keys for the Decorah girls tennis team. Pictured are, from left - Brianna Carolan, Maddie Grimm, Claire Breitenstein. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)
Three returning letter winners will be the keys for the Decorah girls tennis team. Pictured are, from left - Brianna Carolan, Maddie Grimm, Claire Breitenstein. (Photo by Jennifer Bissell)

The formula for success for the Decorah girls tennis team this season is returning letter winners, a strong tradition and a hunger to win.

With a large squad out and many seniors, the Vikes are poised to have another successful year on the courts.

Pushing the Vikes to do their best is Head Coach Larry Berland. In 36 years, Berland has posted a 296-42 career record. He will be assisted by Phil Yee.



A strong season

With nearly 40 girls out for the squad in 2012, the Vikes utilized their large senior class and seven returning letter winners to make a run. Throughout the season, the Vikes posted an 11-3 dual meet record.

When it came time for the postseason, the Vikes pushed themselves. They opened regional play by defeating Osage 5-0. In the second round, the Vikes knocked off Charles City 5-2. With a spot at the state tournament on the line, the Vikes came up short against Waverly-Shell Rock 5-3.

In the individual tournament, the Vikes made some noise. Seniors Katrina Shindelar and Kylie Kruse combined in the doubles tournament to go undefeated and advance to the state doubles tournament. Just missing the tournament was senior Pearl Faldet, who took third. Taking fourth was Erica Bjelland and the doubles pair of Emma Breitenstein and Kelsey Wagner.

At the state tournament, Shindelar and Kruse went 5-1 to take fifth overall.

For the complete story and additional photos, pick up Decorah Newspapers at one of the many convenient locations throughout Decorah and Winneshiek County. Or, for 34 cents an issue, subscribe to Decorah Newspapers by calling (563) 382-4221.