The team will need a few of the more inexperienced players to step up this season if they have any hopes of competing for a district title.
"We'll give it the best we have," said Sikeston coach Lynne DeWitt. "It'll be tough. Cape will be tough. Dexter will be tough. A lot of teams didn't lose very many people. We lost three seniors last year and they were all three varsity players."
Headlining the returnees is junior No. 1 singles player Jenni DeWitt, who compiled an 18-0 regular season record and placed sixth in the state.
"I hope she has another good year -- she's worked hard for it," said coach DeWitt. "We'll just have to wait and see. We're ready to play some matches. We've practiced for so long."
DeWitt is joined by senior Tess Marshall and junior Danielle Ahlfield, who both were varsity regulars last season.
"Tess is looking pretty good and Danielle is looking pretty sharp too," said DeWitt. "They're looking very competitive."
DeWitt and Marshall will also team up in doubles this season.
"Jenni played all summer and played in England and Tess has played all summer and is looking really good," said DeWitt. "They're both back as a doubles team as well and they were pretty strong last year. I think they only lost two or three matches all season."
Challenging for the four, five and six spots on the varsity are juniors Megan Underhill, Mallorie Collins and Hannah Moore, senior Taylor Allen and sophomore Caroline Murray.
"Most of those girls have playing experience on the varsity -- a couple are out for the first time," said DeWitt. "They rotated in and out every match. They're always challenging each other and keeping each other on their toes. That's good. I like to see that, because they are all pretty close. That's kind of how doubles are. We may be mixing up some doubles in the beginning to see who works well with each other."
Sikeston will open its season tomorrow when they travel to Poplar Bluff at 4 p.m. The Lady Bulldogs will host their first home match on Aug. 30 when they take on Dexter at 4 p.m.