By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
Jane Rumiano is back this year as head coach of the Del Norte High girl's tennis team.
Rumiano has been the coach of the Warriors off and on since 1983 and was assistant coach last year.
She did not plan to become head coach this year, but when asked to take over for Sarah Miller, who moved out of the area, she accepted.
"It's something I love doing," Rumiano said, adding it's great "being around a team with so much enthusiasm, who have set goals for themselves and are very focused and want to learn...They each have great qualities."
To Rumiano, it's always a thrill each year to watch the members of the team improve their skills and get better week-to-week.
Junior Emma Wilson was a a Big 5 Conference White Star last year and Rumiano said she has been an important member of the team since she was a freshman. She is currently in the No. 1 spot for the Warriors.
Rumiano said, "She is instinctive and able to get the ball to where her opponent is not...It seems like she does not have to think about it."
Another returner is Jennifer Gustafson, who Rumiano said is a good all-around tennis player and athlete and should be the No. 2 player. She is "quite an asset to the team and is fundamentally sound," Rumiano said.
Another returner is Ashleigh Speaker, who Rumiano said has worked hard on her game and has made great strides.
Sisters Rachel and Rebecca Cink, who are seniors, are two of the newest members of the squad.
Previously, they had played volleyball in the fall before deciding to focus on tennis this year.
Rumiano said they have done well in practice so far, and are working hard to develop into good tennis players.
She will be assisted by another local tennis veteran. Kirk Olesen, who is head coach of the Warrior boys team, will be her assistant this year.
"Kirk is an excellent teacher and instructor," Rumiano said. He taught me how to coach."
Del Norte opens up the season on Sept. 7 at a tournament in Redding.
The team is set to play its first home match on Sept. 18 against St. Bernard of Eureka.