Mize believes the keys to Avon’s success this year include “working on what we can control, limiting our double faults, improving our unforced error-to-winner ratio, keep our endurance at a high level, and staying focused during matches.”
Avon’s program is in good hands with Mize at the helm and with an abundance of talent coming through the ranks. The Orioles’ junior varsity team only lost twice last season and continues to push for varsity playing time.
“The team had a phenomenal season last year,” Mize said. “Although we lost five strong senior tennis players from a year ago, we have the next man up mentality. Some of those key players that may gain some varsity match experience this year are juniors Zach Van Duyn, Alex Shelley, and Philip Shirk, as well as sophomores Jared Reeder, Alex Collins, Sam Caskey, and Ryan Spear.”
Danville returns after finishing sixth in the Sagamore Conference last season and ending with a 4-10 overall record.
However, the Warriors were able to gain some much-needed playing time for their younger players as they graduated just two seniors, one at singles and the other at doubles.
The road to success for the Warriors will be a tough one, but coach Rick Foster believes his team will be up to the task if they put forth the proper effort.
“Work hard on fundamentals, compete everyday in practice and during matches and have mental toughness with a no-quit attitude,” he said of what it would take for the team to do well this year.
Improving on their conference finish may be a tall order for the Warriors as the top teams — Crawfordsville, Lebanon and North Montgomery — all return a bulk of their talented rosters.
Seniors Nick Newman and Austin Allen occupy the No. 1 and No. 2 singles spots, respectively. Seniors Nick Steinmetz and Daniel Dieckmann are the Warriors’ No. 1 doubles squad.