Stepping up their Expectations

CHARLOTTESVILLE — While this is his first season at the helm, Tom Huff is no stranger to the Eastern Hancock girls tennis program, having previously served as the middle school coach.

“We went 9-4 at the middle school level and played a lot of big schools. Next year, we will have five players move up, and it could be an exciting year,” Huff said.

However, that is next year, and the Royals are focused on the here and now after a 5-13 finish in 2014-15.

With 12 players competing for spots this season, including two seniors, a junior and sophomore, Huff has a good idea who will be playing for Eastern Hancock this spring.

However, he admitted he is holding off on putting together a lineup until April 1.

“We are still doing some challenge matches and working on the bottom of our lineup,” Huff said.

Returning are seniors Lexi McMahan, who saw action at No. 2 singles and on both doubles teams last year, and Channing Bearhope, who saw action at both singles and doubles.

Junior Emiley Carlton returns to the squad after seeing action at doubles last year and also back is sophomore Kayla Huff, who won four matches at No. 3 singles.

“Last year when I watched, it looked like the three big schools in our county had more talent because they have more students, but I think we can play well,” Huff said. “I’d love to put that number on the banner where we won county or a sectional championship.”

At a glance

Team schedule

April 7: vs. Cambridge City Lincoln, 5 p.m.

April 11: vs. Southwestern (Shelby), 5 p.m.

April 13: at New Castle, 4:30 p.m.

April 14: vs. Richmond, 5 p.m.

April 15: at Triton Central, 5 p.m.

April 18: at Anderson Prep, 5 p.m.

April 21: at Blue River Valley, 5:30 p.m.

April 22: Hancock County Meet at Mt. Vernon, 5 p.m.

April 25: at Tri, 5 p.m.

April 27: at Pendleton Heights, 5 p.m.

April 28: vs. Edinburgh, 5 p.m.

April 29: vs. Hauser, 5:30 p.m.

May 2: vs. Knightstown, 5 p.m.

May 3: vs. Morristown, 5 p.m.

May 4: at Muncie Burris, 5:45 p.m.

May 5: vs. Indian Creek, 5:30 p.m.

May 9: at Lapel, 5 p.m.

May 12: at Waldron, 5 p.m.

May 14: Eastern Hancock Invitational, 9 a.m.

May 16: vs. Greenfield-Central, 5:30 p.m.