Losing two top singles players can sometimes hold back a tennis team, but Maize girls coach John Anderson doesn't see a reason to panic.
"We've got a solid core of returners," Anderson said. "I think we have an excellent shot at contending for a league title."
Returning to lead the Eagles this season is their state qualifying doubles team of Paige Lungwitz and Jess Holman, both juniors.
"They've won the doubles championships each year at regionals so far," Anderson said. "Then of course they medaled at state last year, so I have high expectations for them."
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The expectations are high, but that doesn't bother the girls.
"We've played doubles together for two years," Lungwitz said. "We really know how each other plays and I think we're capable of doing some great things this year."
For Holman, she sees the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League offering some tough competition but thinks they have a chance to be sitting at the top at season's end.
"Paige and I have known each other for a long time," Holman said. "Our friendship off the court has been awesome and it will be beneficial when we compete together."
It'll be important for some of last year's junior varsity players to step up and play a bigger role this season for the Eagles to achieve postseason success.
"We've got three girls who played great tennis last year for our junior varsity team," Anderson said. "They don't play year-round tennis, so they'll have to pick things up quickly, but I believe they can step up big for us this year."
The road to a league championship won't be easy.
"We've got a pretty hard schedule," Anderson said. "Teams in our league have maintained their success and we'll have to be ready to go right away."