FORT WAYNE – Last season, Canterbury was 20-0 and rose as high as No. 2 in the state poll but lost to No. 3 North Central at the semistate.
Cavaliers coach Jerry Gerigs team is loaded again, led by All-State players Patrick Downs at No. 1 singles, and William Wright and Chris Yahanda at No. 1 doubles.
In addition, Canterbury returns junior Clay Hoffacker, who was 26-1 at No. 3 singles.
Heres a look at some of the players and teams who will be vying to make a push through the postseason:
Patrick Downs, Canterbury: A starter as a freshman, Downs is now a senior and returns to No. 1 singles with a 23-4 record from last season.
Davis Huber, Canterbury: In most programs, Huber would be a lock at No. 1 singles, but the junior, who had a 25-2 record last season, is behind Downs.
Ross Marano, Carroll: The junior singles player was named first team All-NHC last year.
Bertram Najev, Bishop Dwenger: Najev begins his third season as the No. 1 player and was a state finalist two years ago.
Charlie Scott, Bishop Dwenger: Like Huber at Canterbury, Scott has been a force at No. 2 singles and could beat most No. 1 players in the area.
Canterbury: Between Downs, Huber, Hoffacker and the doubles team of Wright and Yahanda, the combined record of the four positions last season was 98-10.
Carroll: The Chargers are coming off a school-record 20-3 mark and have their top three singles players back in Marano (19-7), Luke Garrison (21-5) and Dillon Fernando (23-3).
Bishop Dwenger: With Najev and Scott at Nos. 1 and 2 singles, the Saints enter any match with a decided edge.
Angola: The NECC champion Hornets (20-2) will be without exchange student Georg Albrecht, who finished fourth in the state individual tournament.
Adams Central: The Jets are a traditional ACAC power and have an ace up their sleeve in No. 1 singles player Nathan Barger.
Future is now: Canterbury was handed a 5-0 loss to North Central in the semistate, and the Cavaliers are determined to return to state, where they appeared in 2010.
Rare experience: Four seniors are back for Carroll, prompting coach Kyle Stoffel to say its been about six years since he has had this much experience returning.
New leader at Angola: Scott Hottell, who was a 20-year assistant under Tony Wright, takes over as the Hornets coach after Wright served as the Angola coach for 41 seasons.
Rebuilding task: With Canterbury and Carroll expected to be strong again this season, the Homestead tennis machine will have its difficulties getting a foothold and returning to team prominence.
Return to state: As loaded as the area was last season with quality teams, none made it to the state finals. Angola and Canterbury were the only teams to claim regional titles.