The 2001 Sonora High School girls tennis season began Wednesday with a 4-1 loss to Beyer of Modesto at Columbia College.
The Wildcats got their point from junior Ari Nesper, who posted a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Mary Anne Schutt at No. 3 singles.
Nesper is one of the returning players on whom Sonora will depend this season.
Im looking for her to be a really strong force, said Sonora coach Carey Marmesh. Shes so steady and shes a great competitor.
Also back from last years team, which went 11-3 in the Valley Oak League for a second-place finish, are seniors Elisa Valentine and Heather Johnston. Valentine is currently the No. 1 singles player and Johnston figures into the singles mix as well. Johnston was felled by shin splints last year.
Shes capable of playing at a really high level, so were hoping for her to have a healthy season, Marmesh said.
New to the varsity is senior singles player Margo Francis, who is much-improved after a summer of camp and tournament play.
Shes looking very strong, Marmesh said.
Seniors Tessa Bowser, Megan Boyack and Nicole Garcia, junior Jessica Mefford and sophomore Josie Bowser also fit into the singles and/or doubles ladders.
The team has had only three practices and is waiting for its on-campus courts to be resurfaced so practices and matches need no longer be held at Columbia.
Marmesh isnt quite sure yet how strong the Wildcats will be.
Its too early to say, but I expect well do as well as we did last year. Our top five players are very strong for this league.