Weyer returns to coach Forest Park tennisMarch 25, 2020
By JONATHAN SAXON
FERDINAND — Things are a bit different since the last time Amie Weyer was home.
The Ferdinand native and 2014 Forest Park graduate recently moved back from Spencer, and will take over as the new Forest Park girls tennis coach. She grew up playing the game all her life, and recently served as the assistant coach at Owen Valley High School.
“I’ve given tennis lessons for years,” she said. “I’ve given lots of tennis lessons to younger aged [children] around here.”
What she didn’t anticipate is arriving in the midst of life around Dubois County grinding to a halt because of the coronavirus. Weyer and the Rangers were able to conduct preseason conditioning activities before schools closed, but she admits it’s a bit jarring that they can’t have full practices at this time.
“It’s upsetting that we aren’t able to play right now,” Weyer said. “We’re trying to stay positive in the situation and hoping we can get back on the court as soon as possible. But we also have to make sure we’re staying healthy and doing what’s best for us right now.”
Weyer hasn’t worked out what the varsity lineup will look like yet, but the Rangers return all of last year’s singles and doubles players. Sophomore Brooke Haug claimed the No. 1 singles spot last season. She’s a tenacious player who uses extended volleys to wear down her opponents. Seniors Haylie Marks and Leah Wilmes were at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively, and both are baseline players who also preferred to play out longer volleys. The No. 1 doubles team consisted of juniors Molly Lusk and Kaylee Uebelhor. Sophomores Emma Grundhoefer and Payton Dilger formed the No. 2 doubles team. Both doubles teams also tended to live at the base line last season.
Weyer wants the Rangers to focus on using the court to their full advantage. She wants them to think about where they’re placing the ball and the best ways to catch their opponents off balance in the course of a volley. While a few of the girls have worked on getting better at the net during the offseason, an increased emphasis in court control could do wonders for a team that plays through longer points.
“I would like them to be strategic on how they’re playing,” she said. “Make sure we’re hitting good, quality shots using our top spin and being smart about playing and placing the ball where it needs to be.”
Beyond that, Weyer wants the Rangers to finish above .500 and set themselves up for a good sectional showing. They’ll bear with whatever the season brings them, but Weyer thinks the main key for their success lies in strengthening their bonds during this uncertain time.
“I just want to make sure we have that team atmosphere and always enjoy being around each other,” Weyer said. “We already have a great atmosphere, but we’re building off of that.”
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