There will be no shortage of talented singles players in the area this year.
Led by two-time state participant Leah Barnes of Canterbury, there will be some interesting head-to-head matchups at No. 1 singles when northeast Indiana teams play against each other.
Other top No. 1 singles players are Carroll’s Rachel Sutton, Bishop Luers’ Natalie Rahrig and Bishop Dwenger’s Audrey Rang, who has played doubles the last two years and could return to singles where she excelled as a freshman.
Here’s a look at some of the individuals, teams and storylines for 2014:
Leah Barnes, Canterbury: The junior No. 1 singles player won the consolation round of the individual state finals after falling in the semifinals.
Rachel Sutton, Carroll: The Butler-bound senior earned All-State honors and finished 24-4 at No. 1 singles.
Natalie Rahrig, Bishop Luers: The senior earned All-District and All-SAC honors at No. 1 singles.
Audrey Rang, Bishop Dwenger: The senior was one half of a state semifinalist No. 1 doubles team.
Chelsea Himes, Canterbury: The senior earned All-State honorable mention and All-District honors at No. 2 singles.
Carroll: The semistate and NHC champion Chargers have Sutton, senior Mackenzie Schoeff and juniors Jenna Jackson and Taylor Stanchin returning.
Bishop Luers: The SAC champion Knights return Rahrig and fellow seniors Maddie Brown, Sabrina Streicher and Jessica Franke.
Canterbury: With Barnes, Himes and sophomore Ava Van Helfteran in the singles slots, the Cavaliers can again contend for a sectional championship.
Warsaw: The Tigers should be deep and talented, especially with returning seniors Jacqueline Sasso, Sara Boyle, Rachel Alexander, Abbi Baum and Anna Hall and junior Camille Kerlin.
Angola: The Hornets went 14-2 and advanced to the regional finals. They return No. 3 singles player junior Alyssa Rhoades and the No. 2 doubles team of senior Tori Yagodinski and sophomore Hannah Cowen.
Barnes back at state? Leah Barnes (31-1 last year) has been in the individual state finals the past two years, finishing second two years ago and third last year.
Rang’s role: Audrey Rang has played singles and doubles at a high level for the Saints the last three years and could play both this season.
Young Spartans: Homestead lost all three of its singles players and half of its No. 1 doubles team.
Stoffel honored: Carroll coach Kyle Stoffel was honored as the District II Coach of the Year after his Chargers won the semistate and fell to eventual state champion Carmel 5-0 in the state quarterfinals.
Getting back? East Noble lost in the regional semifinals last year to Angola and has seniors Anna Papaik and Chelsea Ort returning but will be without seniors Nicole DuMont and Hope Deyo, who are not playing this year.