The bar was raised for Dean Crom and the Raider girls tennis team in 2018. Coming off one of the best seasons in over ten years in 2017, Kiel posted five Eastern Wisconsin Conference dual wins. The 2018 team did even better going 6-3 and beating traditional power Manitowoc Roncalli for the second straight season.

Crom must replace his top three singles players, but a good crop of newcomers give hope to another strong season.
The 2019 Raider girls tennis preview:

KIEL RAIDER GIRLS TENNIS

Head Coaches: Dean Crom (4th season)
2018 Record: 6-3 conference duals (3rd place)
Post Season History: Christina Laun is the only Kiel girls tennis player to reach the state finals winning the WIAA Division 2 singles title in 1997 and placing second in Division 2 singles in 1998. As a senior in 1999, she went to state again taking third. She is the last Raider to make it to state. Laun went onto a fine collegiate career at Butler University.

Looking back at 2018:
Kiel took third place in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference, their best finish since the Christina Laun era. The dual win over Roncalli was the highlight of the season. Savannah Walsdorf was honorable mention All-EWC at number two singles, as was the three doubles tandem of Emily and Erin Swanson. Jacalyn Crom (#1 singles), Kendra Preissner (#3 singles) and Serena Blatz (doubles) are key graduation losses.

A look ahead at 2019:

The Raiders welcome back seven returning letter winners mostly doubles players led by the sister duo of Emily and Erin Swanson, along with Caitlyn Muten and Katherine Dickrell. Elizabeth Suchan, Ariel Lemke and Analiese Olig look to fill in the vacant spots in singles. Newcomer Kaytlyn Hartfield has looked impressive and will be an immediate impact player. Elladia Kannich and Sarah Dawe are other key newcomers.
A highlight to this season will be the return of home matches to the courts at Belitz Park in the Rockville subdivision following major renovation. Home matches last fall were at Chilton High School.

The conference race:
Kohler has dominated Eastern Wisconsin Conference play over the past several seasons going unbeaten in duals the last three years. The Blue Bombers remain the team to beat with Plymouth and Sheboygan Falls the main challengers. Kiel looks for another top half finish in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference.