Girls Tennis Preview: Alexandria remains area team to beat

Mar. 26—After four straight sectional titles and five consecutive Madison County championships, Alexandria continues to be the undisputed best team in the area in terms of girls tennis.

With Allie Clark back as the team's No. 1 singles player and the bulk of coach Matt DeVault's lineup returning as well, chances are good the dominance the Tigers have shown of late will continue.

Here is a glance at area teams as the season gets underway over the coming days:


Coach: DeVault (29th season); 2023: 15-4, Madison County and sectional champions; Key losses: Gabby Hosier, Addy Warren, Alyssa Ryan; Key returning players: Clark, Lily Harpe, Avery Cuneo, Abby Gaines; Newcomers to watch: Addie Bates, Delilah Young, Fayte Bridwell, Chloe Hutchison, Cloe Beltz; Potential breakout: Bates, Young

Outlook: "The 2024 Alexandria Tigers will be wearing a huge bull's-eye after another great season in 2023," DeVault said. "We will have several new faces playing major roles. Allie dominated the county in 2024 and will be called upon to be the top singles player again. There will not be much time to prepare as the county tourney will test the young Tigers early on after spring break."


Coach: David Ellis; Key losses: Clara Avznzini, Emily Heiss; Expected to return: Ava Nickelson, Maddy Tyler, Natalie Stover


Coach: John Kelly (7th season); 2023: 8-7; Key losses: Kennedy Perrin, Kenzee Garringer, Addie Updegraff, Ruth Vehikite; Key returning athletes: Raeghan Wisehart, Darica Dickey; Newcomers to watch: Breelyn Norris, Sam Dockery; Potential breakout: Norris, Dockery, Kimmee Fern, Cali Doom

Outlook: "We graduated four seniors last season, leaving us in a rebuilding period," Kelly said. "While young, we've been able to add some young athletic girls this season that are grasping the game quickly. We're looking for a lot of positive things to happen during the development of this team throughout the season."


Coach: Stephan Hamaker (3rd season); 2023: 11-11, Elwood Invite champions; Key losses: Addie Brobston, Haylee Niccum, Launa Hamaker, Chloe Wenger; Key returning players: Emily Bilyeu, Sloane Harrison, Campbell Quire; Newcomers to watch: Lainey Hamaker, Lily Hall, Karlee Cole; Potential breakout: Laela Deitzer

Outlook: "I look forward to us improving every day and competing to get better," Coach Hamaker said. "We return half of our varsity lineup, and we look to stay competitive, especially since our JV team had so much success last year."


Coach: Kandi Martin (3rd season); 2023: 10-4; Key losses: Kerith Renihan, Grace Martin, Gracie Lyons; Expected to return: Gwyn Fisher, Kalea Richwine


Coach: Tony Pitt (19th season); 2023: 5-13; Key losses: Marissa Lambert; Key returning players: Lainey Lutterman, Lexi Terwillegar, Josie Engle, Kaitley Dickason, Lauren Wilson; Newcomers to watch: Maddie Freel, Jessie Davis, Lorelai Warner; Potential breakout: Dickason

Outlook: "Our numbers are small this season with only nine ladies making up the roster," Pitt said. "Despite the low number, we have several girls with varsity experience. The girls have been working very hard at practice so far, and we look forward to seeing what this team can accomplish this season."


Coach: Bryant Beard (1st season); 2023: 9-10; Key losses: Ellie Manchess, Alaina Moore, Gia Thorsen, Josie Graves, Jessica Thompson; Expected to return: Bella Ritchey, Sarah Ghosh


Coach: John Rhodes (19th season)

Outlook: "My sophomore class is off to a great start," Rhoades said. "They all played middle school for three years and last year in high school as well. They also have been indoors for half the winter. Upcoming freshmen are all very talented and (I'm) looking forward to developing them. The entire team is working extremely hard and all have great attitudes."

Contact Rob Hunt at or 765-640-4886.