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HHS tennis has new coach, starts season

By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

The Hays High School tennis has a fresh new face at the helm: Megan Quinley.

The previous coach, Brett Jensen, was young -- a 2007 graduate of Hays High -- but Quinley is even more so.

Quinley, a junior at Fort Hays State University, was hired after Jensen moved away.

She might be young, but Quinley brings a new viewpoint to the job.

Quinley played tennis at Salina South High School and Fort Hays State University. She lasted two seasons at FHSU before a shoulder surgery forced her to end her college career.

For Quinley, this is a dream come true. She came to FHSU to major in teaching and always wanted to coach.

"The fact that I'm doing it already is very exciting," Quinley said.

The Indians start the season Monday at the McPherson Invitational.

Quinley said she's brought her collegiate experience to Hays High, teaching the boys drills she learned in college.

"Giving them a headstart on it will take their game to the next level," she said.

Hays High graduated a trio of varsity players, including Blake McClung, Bryce McClung and Hunter Wilkens. However, they brought back three starters from last season.

Senior Cody Brown will play No. 1 singles this season after playing at No. 2 singles last season. Senior Bayron Rivera will play No. 2 singles.

Rivera saw limited varsity action last season, but Brown might be his squad's top returner. He placed second at the Western Athletic Conference Tournament last season.

"I was excited to see how much he already knew," Quinley said. "I can see some of the stuff if he really works on, he can take his game to the next level. ... He has a lot of talent."

Senior Nicholas Glassman and sophomore Andrew McGinnis will play No. 1 doubles, and junior Austin Berry and freshman Mikey Ploutz, both newcomers to the team, will play No. 2 doubles.

Glassman and McGinnis started playing together at the WAC Tournament last season. They went 2-2 and finished third in their first meet together.

Quinley said it's been a challenge transitioning from player to coach, but she said it's gotten easier, especially since her players are pretty coachable.

"I know it's hard to break old habits, but they really do take what I'm saying into consideration, which is nice," she said.