The 2012 Salina South girls tennis team was one of the best in school history.
The squad brought home the school’s first regional championship, and the Cougars sent six players to the state tournament.
Four of those girls return this season, and seventh-year head coach Ryan Stuart has four seniors and one junior. Expectations are just as high in 2013.
“With five solid returning players, the 2013 version of the Lady Cougars expect continued success,” Stuart said. “It will be difficult to match the accomplishments of a year ago, however the girls have been working on their game a lot this offseason and summer, and I know they are looking forward to another successful tennis season.”
Seniors Molly Courbot, Sarah McConnell, Marisa Mitchell and Katie Siemsen all played at the varsity level last year, as did junior Sophia Darnell.
“Singles play should be strong with the return of senior Marisa Mitchell, who has already won 86 matches and finished in the top 12 at state three times over her first three seasons,” Stuart said. “Katie Siemsen, senior and state qualifier from a year ago, is the front-runner for the No. 2 singles spot. The No. 1 doubles spot will likely be senior Molly Courbot, a three-time state qualifier, and junior Sophia Darnell, a state qualifier from a year ago. Sarah McConnell, a senior, will be another solid doubles player this year.”
Stuart is hoping for contributions from senior Courtney Main, junior Hunter Nowak, sophomore Lexi Kerns and freshman Jessica Smith.
“Overall depth is a concern heading into this season,” Stuart said. “We have five returning letter winners, however the girls after that group have limited experience with varsity level tournaments.”
The Cougars play in quads at Salina Central and Junction City on Thursday.