The Lady Bulldogs have their rackets aimed for a spot in sectionals on a team level and hope to have more ladies qualify individually for state.
Last year the Lady Bulldogs posted a 6-9 record. However, many from that team return and look to improve on the win total.
"The girls are working extremely hard right now and we have more experience coming into this year," stated head coach Lynne DeWitt.
DeWitt is upbeat this year and is looking for improvements from her squad. "Our goals are to improve our record, have more kids qualify for the state tournament in singles and to have our team qualify for sectionals," said coach DeWitt.
Despite last year's sub-.500 record, the Lady Bulldogs finished third in a district that will include Fredericktown, Dexter, Caruthersville, Arcadia Valley, Potosi, Charleston, North County and Kennett in the upcoming season.
The Lady Bulldogs will be led by sophomore Jenni Dewitt and junior Tess Marshall. DeWitt, who qualified for the state playoffs last year, will be the No. 1 player in singles for the team and Marshall will be the No. 2 player. The two will make up the No. 1 doubles team.
DeWitt had an outstanding season last year and will be counted on to anchor the team.
In addition to DeWitt and Marshall, the Lady 'Dogs will have a roster that includes seniors, Emily Bowman, Britney Bohannon, Britney Bard and Ellie Hensley. Taylor Allen will be a junior and sophomores are Danielle Ahlfield, Megan Underhill and Emily Pace. Caroline Murray will be the lone freshman on the tennis squad.
Coach DeWitt is pleased so far on the work ethic of the team and insists that no spot is safe on the club.
"Positions are up in the air and we will have weekly challenges to set our roster," stated coach DeWitt.
According to coach DeWitt, the team is ready to go and itching to play some competition besides themselves.
"We really need some matches to get us going," she said, "and to find out who is really going to step up for us."
Besides having a brutal district schedule, the Lady 'Dogs will have to battle the likes of Cape Central and Poplar Bluff in the regular season.
In district play, coach DeWitt thinks Dexter and Charleston will be the ones to watch for in the postseason.
"Our schedule is tough top to bottom and really every match we will have to play some good tennis to win," she said.
The Lady Bulldogs tennis team has some good experience coming back from last year and the depth of the team will be a factor in favor of the Lady 'Dogs. Overall, look for the ladies to compete hard every match and to improve with each game. Although the schedule is difficult, the Lady Bulldogs will be sure to impress the loyal hometown fans with their dedication and desire for the game of tennis.
The Sikeston Lady Bulldogs tennis team will host Poplar Bluff today at 4 p.m. at the tennis courts on the grounds of Sikeston High School.