Finishing last among 12 teams during the BC AAA tennis provincials doesn’t justify the performance of the Pen High Lakers.
Coach Helen Konanz said the team “played great” and lost to Victoria’s Claremont Secondary School in the first round by one game. Claremont Secondary School finished sixth at the tournament hosted by Sentinel Academy in Vancouver in late May. Konanz said games needed to be counted since all the teams in their pool were deadlocked in a three-way tie, with teams equal in sets.
“Our team played fantastic, but we just lost very close ones,” said Konanz, adding the goal entering provincials was to improve on last years seventh-place finish. “Everyone on the team played well. Everyone got a lot of play in because we had so many good players. We wanted to make sure they all got to play.”
Where Konanz felt this years squad was stronger than last year was with experienced females. One of the leaders on the team was Katie Bettauer, whose father Robert coached the team last year.
“She was really good with the girls,” said Konanz. “She really stepped up.”
Konanz was also impressed with Bernard Bredenkamp and Graham Millar.
“A lot of times when team was getting down he would pump them up,” said Konanz of Brendencamp.
Konanz will coach the team next year and she feels positive about the future despite losing some key members. She feels they will be strong, however, she added that depends on how much the kids work on their skills during the off-season. She would like to see more girls come out but the challenge is competing with other sports.
The Lakers tennis team comprised of Zakary Konanz, Kanwar Pandher, Millar, Bettauer, Bredenkamp, Ryan Kandola, Courtney Milligan, Keenan Findlay, Jaimie Atkins, Brian Lynka, Sophie Mahon and Kia Wheeler. Coaching with Konanz was Mhairi Dunnett.