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Peyer takes over for Janesville Craig tennis

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Mike Johnson
August 19, 2010
— Previewing a high school sports season often revolves around which players a team graduated and who needs to be replaced by the next wave of talent.

Sometimes, though, it involves replacing a coach.


Anyone could argue that the latter is the case for this year’s Janesville Craig girls tennis team, which is under the direction of first-year coach Bill Peyer, who takes over for longtime coach Camilla Owen.


“(It’s) pretty tough to replace her,” Peyer said. “She’s kind of a legend, I guess you might say, in Janesville for tennis. She’s done a lot for the city in terms of that.”


But Peyer is no newcomer to the local tennis scene. He coached the Janesville Parker girls team for three seasons from 2006-08—current Vikings’ girls coach Justin Long was an assistant for Peyer during that time—and has coached the UW-Rock County men’s and women’s teams the last two seasons.


Peyer is excited to be back at the high school level.


“I’m pretty happy with being able to do it again,” said the 1981 Delavan-Darien High School and 1981 UW-La Crosse graduate. “I enjoy coaching and love playing tennis, so it makes a good combination.”


This year’s Cougars are decidedly stronger in doubles than in singles. All three doubles teams are comprised of seniors, with returning state qualifier Taylor Storbakken teaming with new partner Maggie Bolton at No. 1 doubles.


Peyer feels that team has a strong shot at state.


Minalisa Shahlapour and Cierra Sroda comprise Craig’s No. 2 doubles team, while Devon Timblin and Brianna Lane make up the No. 3 team.


Craig’s doubles strength was demonstrated in a 4-3 scrimmage loss to Parker when the Cougars won all three doubles matches but dropped all four singles matches.


Whether Craig makes a run at a Big Eight team title depends on singles. The Cougar lineup includes senior Kelly Collins at No. 1, freshman Kaylee Rossing, No. 2; junior Sarah Gray, No. 3; and sophomore Courtney Spiegler, No. 4.


“If we can pull off one or two of the singles matches every meet, we have a good chance at winning a lot of matches,” Peyer said.


The Cougars’ start was encouraging, as Craig won its own invitational with an overall 5-0 match record to open the season on Monday and Tuesday. Peyer expects a top-four finish in the conference, which he feels should put his team right alongside crosstown rival Parker.


“We’re looking for good things,” Peyer said.


Craig’s schedule, with home matches at Palmer Park:

AUGUST: 19—Beloit Memorial, 4:15 p.m. 20—Craig quadrangular (Craig, Janesville Parker, Madison La Follette, Madison La Follette), 8:30 a.m. 23-24—Eau Claire Memorial Invitational. 24—At Madison La Follette, 4:15. 26—Madison Memorial, 4:15 p.m. 31—At Middleton, 4:15 p.m.


SEPTEMBER: 2—Janesville Parker, 4:15. 7—at Madison East, 4:15 p.m. 11—Waukesha South Invitational, 9 a.m. 14—Madison West, 4:15 p.m. 21—Sun Prairie, 4:15 p.m.


OCTOBER: 1—Big Eight meet, at Nielsen Stadium, Madison, 8 a.m.



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