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Eagles ready to hit courts

Mar. 25—ZIONSVILLE — There will be some new faces playing for the Zionsville girls tennis team this year, but the expectations are still high for the Eagles as they get ready to start the season.

Alex Wittenbaum enters his third season as head coach with a good crop of talent, and they are excited to get the season underway.

"We have a lot of depth this year," Wittenbaum said. "We have a good group of girls that really came together this off-season and put in a lot of hard work. That has been huge for us."

The Eagles return four players from a regional finalist team a year ago.

Some girls will likely be in different roles, but Wittenbaum is eager to see what the team can do.

"I think we can do some really good things and take it as far as we want to," he said. "We want to get better every single day, and if we do that, we can achieve what we want."

The Eagles return their No. 1 singles player from a year ago Lucy King, as well as No. 2 singles player Sudhi Murugesan. Zoe Chappell and Ellery Walpole played as a one double pairing a year ago.

That is a good foundation to start, but there are plenty of other girls who are ready to fill in spots.

"We have four captains this year," Wittenbaum said. "Lucy King just committed to Haverford to play tennis and has been a key part of our line-up. Zoe Chappell and Kyla and Ayla Gomez. All four are great leaders, and we have 11 girls that could play on varsity and they have really separated themselves and are working hard."

Wittenbaum said that a strength of the team is the chemistry the team has from top to bottom.

While tennis is an individual sport, the Eagles really embrace the team aspect and realize that all 48 players on their team bring a lot to the table.

And while he knows it won't be a perfect start, Wittenbaum and his team are excited to head to HSE on Tuesday to get the season underway.

"We have been trying to adjust to the weather and the wind," he said. "We want to set the precedent on how we play as a team. Tennis is an individual spot, but if we can come together for these next three months and be a strong team — then the possibilities are good."

Will Willems is the Sports Editor of the Lebanon Reporter. Follow him on Twitter @Will_Willems.