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Sikeston tennis returns everything

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

(Photo)
Sikeston's tennis team will be led by Lindsay Leible, left, and Elizabeth Killion this season
(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON - The Sikeston girls tennis team returns every player from last year's 7-6 squad, which could make the Lady Bulldogs a team to be reckoned with this season.

Although no player from the team advanced past district play last year, head coach Lynne DeWitt is hoping that will change this season.

"We have high expectations," said DeWitt. "We didn't graduate anyone, we've got everybody back. We hope that we can better our record from last year and go further in the district tournament."

After fielding a very inexperienced team last year, this year the Lady Bulldogs will dress five seniors and a whole team of varsity proven players.

Top players Elizabeth Killion and Lindsay Leible, who have both played on the varsity team since they were in the ninth grade, are expected to provide senior leadership this year.

Killion qualified for the state tournament as a sophomore and Leible has performed well in district play in her career.

"They've been on the varsity since they were freshmen," said DeWitt. "We're looking to them to lead the team. But it's not just them, everybody's played a lot this summer and they've taken lessons. They're really hitting well. We're pretty deep this year."

Senior Charlie Richey is penciled in at No. 3 followed by senior Jeri Nichols at No. 4.

Chelsea Gilliland and Brittney Bohannon round out the top six on the varsity.

Jessica Colwick is also in the mix for a varsity spot.

"Having all of this experience back will help us," said DeWitt. "They all have experience in tough matches and pulling out tough matches. A lot of them have played a lot in the summer. They're ready. I think we'll make some noise this year. We could be one of the strongest teams around."

Other girls that round at the team are Lindsey James, Hallie Lambert, Brittney Bard, Emily Bowman and Ellie Hensley.

With teams like Charleston and Cape Central on the schedule, DeWitt knows that her girls have their work cut out for them.

"Everybody won matches in the district last year," said DeWitt. "They all have experience of what they're going up against, so I expect them to do better. Of course we want to go far in district. We want to have a good winning season.

Most of them have set individual goals to better themselves from last year."