”I’ll never forget that first practice,” Rainey explained. “We have four foreign exchange students come out and two of them are playing varsity, so that put a big smile on my face. I just thought ‘Our whole season just changed.’ We got two welcomed surprises that came. They’re really talented tennis players that are going to help us out a lot.”
Junior Amanda Tran moves up to the No. 1 singles position after play at the No. 2 spot last season.
Japanese exchange student Emily Morita, a sophomore, will take over the No. 2 spot, while sophomore Rachel Stout returns at No. 3.
Senior Stephanie Kailey returns at No. 1 doubles, where she will be joined by classmate AnneMarie Balsbaugh, who played No. 2 doubles as a junior.
Junior Regina DelBosque, a junior from Mexico, will start the season at No. 2 doubles with classmate Sunnih Flores, a varsity newcomer.
Senior Brittny Balog, junior Alex Anderson and sophomore Maranda Douglas will also push for varsity court time as the season gets under way Thursday at Twin Lakes.
“We could move people around, and I think it could change depending on what we choose to do,” Rainey said. “It’s fun because you have a lot of options, but we have to find that fit. And hopefully we find that right fit and peak at the right time. … I think you’ll see us continue to improve in each match that we play.”
Layden inherits a roster full of varsity-experienced players from last season’s 5-12 squad.
“I’m really excited to be working with such a great group of girls,” Layden said. “We have a ton of experience returning, and I see a ton of leadership from the upperclassmen already. We have seven girls who return with varsity experience. With the competition in the area as far as the conference and the sectional, I think having that leadership and experience returning from a year ago will be huge.”