The Linsly School's Jackie McDermott is back for her senior season on the hardcourt and is looking to improve on her runner-up finish at the No. 1 singles slot during last year's Ohio Valley Athletic Conference tournament.
McDermott will be joined by Amika Ekenam, playing at No. 2 singles. Two new players, at the No. 3 and No. 4 singles, are sophomore Madison Helmick, from Linsly's OVAC championship basketball team, and freshman Morgan Carlisle.
McDermott and Ekenam will be the team's No. 1 doubles pairing; Helmick and Carlisle will be No. 2 doubles; and Skylar Page and Megan McCluskey likely will be No. 3 doubles, with Eve Scarpone also vying for court time, Coach Dave Riethmiller said.
Riethmiller is projecting a strong season this year for his squad, as he expects to challenge for top honors in the OVAC Small School division.
"I think we're going to be very competitive in the Small School division, 4A-1A, but there will be some really good 5A teams we'll struggle with," he said. "Our schedule will probably be the most challenging we've ever had, as we play Morgantown twice, University twice, and Parkersburg South once."
Riethmiller said Oak Glen likely will be Linsly's top competitor in the division. He also noted Greg McDermott would be assisting the team this year.
On the boy's side, new head coach Chad Felt is looking forward to a solid season from his players.
Senior Westen Mead will lead the charge at No. 1 singles, serving as captain of the squad. Mead has played throughout his high school career at Linsly. Felt said the No. 2 through No. 4 singles players are not settled, but noted senior Nick Kenyanjui and junior Andrew Shin will be battling for the spots, along with sophomore Jonathon Ghobrial.
Tim Chung, a senior, also is likely to make the varsity squad, Felt said. What makes this noteworthy is that Chung, a star for the school's soccer team, only picked up a racket recently, but has the athleticism to make up for his lack of experience.
Two freshmen who could make an impact this year and the future are Victor Xie and Jimmy Xu, Felt said.