There were some near-misses for state titles last season and both will be back to try to take that final step to success.
Canterbury sophomore Leah Barnes (No. 1 singles) and Bishop Dwenger’s Elizabeth Maxson and Audrey Rang (No. 1 doubles) fell in the final matches of the IHSAA individual tournament last year, so their quest picks up again this season.
Those three players aren’t the end of the talent in northeast Indiana this year.
Here is a rundown of some of the top players, teams and stories the area has to offer in 2013:
Leah Barnes, Canterbury: The sophomore was 19-1 last year at No. 1 singles and lost in the individual state championship match 6-4, 6-2 to Penn’s Alexandra Brinker, who graduated.
Elizabeth Maxson and Audrey Rang, Bishop Dwenger: The senior and junior were the state runners-up in the No. 1 doubles competition.
Andrea Crook, Blackhawk Christian: The senior No. 1 singles player lost in the individual state quarterfinals.
Kelsey Vessels and Allison Overlander, Homestead: The senior No. 1 doubles players were named All-District in 2012.
Rachel Sutton, Carroll: The junior was named All-District last year at No. 1 singles.
Carroll: The Chargers lost in the regional finals but return Sutton as well as seniors Ashley Hoagland, Audrey Mallers and Catherine Curtis and junior Mackenzie Schoeff.
Canterbury: The Cavaliers lost in the state semifinals and return Barnes and junior Chelsea Himes.
Bishop Luers: The SAC champion Knights lost No. 1 singles player Samantha Rahrig but have four returning varsity players in seniors Andrea Choka, Courtney Witte, juniors Natalie Rahrig and Maddie Brown.
Bishop Dwenger: Besides Maxson and Rang, the Saints also have seniors Leah Stetzel and Alex Yoder, along with freshman Abbie Lee.
Adams Central: The Jets won a sectional championship and return seniors Jessica Ripley, Lydia Johnson and Laura Sigworth and junior Abby Snyder.
Barnes is back: After flirting with the idea of heading out of state to continue her tennis progression, Leah Barnes will be back for Canterbury for another season.
More from Maxson?: Dwenger’s Elizabeth Maxson has now earned All-State honors with two different doubles partners: Audrey Rang last year, and her older sister Danielle two years ago.
New Knight in charge: Luers coach Brady McArdle stepped down after eight seasons with the program and was replaced by assistant Jerry Rahrig.
Exchange tradition: The Angola boys tennis team benefited two years ago from foreign exchange student Georg Albrecht and the girls team had Marina Fernandez last year.
Double (Eagle) trouble: Columbia City has two talented players in senior No. 1 singles player Celine Rongos (All-District) and sophomore Macie Hinen (14-4 at No. 2 doubles).