> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
Junior No. 1 singles player Will Andres will lead the veteran-laden Pioneers. Other returning players are senior Nolan Carrico, juniors Jacob Quinkert and Patrick McPhillips and sophomore Landon Carrico.
Five Pioneers are battling for two varsity spots in juniors Ryan Day and Spencer Pearson, sophomores Brad Haas and Ben Popson and freshman Ben Arnson.
Coach Scott Gurgol says the strength of Providence’s schedule is above average. The Pioneers’ slate includes dual matches against New Albany, Silver Creek, Jeff and Bloomington North and tough invitationals at Columbus North and Columbus East.
“We’re expecting a lot of wins and not many losses. We want to win the three in-season tournaments on our schedule. We want to earn a top-three district ranking, which may garner a top-30 state ranking,” Gurgol said. “Those are the only goals being discussed between the coaches and players currently. We want to keep our team’s focus on August, and not be looking ahead to October. When the season ends, we will have postseason goals to discuss.”
Seniors Brennan Thompson, Braden McCartney, Anthony Less and Nick Sprinkle will lead an experienced Dragons team. Juniors Jake Steele, Gabe Bauer, Isaac Corum, Court Grangier and Max Moore, sophomore Noah Eckert and freshman Josh Newton will be battling to get into the starting lineup.
Silver Creek’s challenging slate includes Jeff, Floyd Central, New Albany and Providence.
“This is an experienced team ready to make some noise,” coach Robert Briscoe said. “We return six varsity positions from last year’s team. Our goals for this year are to be conference, sectional and regional champions.”