Reynoldsburg High School girls tennis coach Les Somogyi loves the leadership and ability he's been seeing from his returnees.
He just wishes he had a few more people to work with.
Barring any new athletes coming out for the team, the Raiders are expected to play their opener Thursday, Aug. 14, at home against Athens with just four players.
Somogyi was hoping to add at least one additional player before the opener so Reynoldsburg would be able to use three singles players and one doubles team in dual matches.
"Three of the players we have will play singles," Somogyi said. "We lost (six) players, and most of that was to graduation. We didn't have any eighth-graders or ninth-graders, plus the fee (to play sports at Reynoldsburg) is a big factor. It all came to a head this summer. Next year will probably be a lot different because we've got some junior high players."
Playing first singles will be senior Diamond Person, who teamed with 2014 graduate Keisha Cummings to lose in a doubles quarterfinal in a Division I sectional tournament last fall.
Jessika Acosta-Gorman, who teamed with 2014 graduate Paris Ring to lose in the second round at sectional, is the other senior.
Junior Jadelyn Cheng, who lost in the first round of sectional in singles, and classmate Ciara Boykins were the only other players throughout the preseason.
"I've been playing a lot with Keisha Cummings, who is at Ohio Wesleyan," Person said. "I did a summer team at New Albany and have been doing lessons at New Albany."
Lost to graduation with Cummings and Ring were Brea Brooks and Tynia Smith. Both lost in the first round of sectional in singles.
Although the Raiders lost to Thomas Worthington in the first round of the OTCA state team tournament last season, they finished 13-7 overall and placed third (5-2) in the OCC-Ohio Division behind Pickerington Central (7-0) and Gahanna (6-1).
In the third-place OCC tournament on its home courts, Reynoldsburg scored seven points to place behind Olentangy Liberty (13) and ahead of Olentangy Orange (6) and Westerville Central (4).
Ring was named the team's Most Valuable Player after going 12-5 and spending most of the season at third singles.
Acosta-Gorman was named Most Improved Player last season.
Although his team has low numbers, Somogyi has been pleased with the skill level of the returnees.
"Person is just absolutely tough," Somogyi said. "She's going to rip through the season and postseason. We've got four rock-solid girls coming back, so we want to have a season. Jadelyn Cheng is very solid and Ciara is very consistent."
Aug. 14 -- vs. Athens
*Aug. 19 -- at Grove City
Aug. 21 -- vs. Columbus School for Girls
*Aug. 26 -- vs. Pickerington Central
Aug. 27 -- vs. Chillicothe
*Aug. 28 -- vs. Newark
*Sept. 2 -- vs. Gahanna
Sept. 3 -- vs. Olentangy
Sept. 5 -- vs. Watkins Memorial
Sept. 8 -- vs. Mount Vernon
*Sept. 9 -- at Pickerington North
Sept. 10 -- at Westerville South
*Sept. 11 -- at Lancaster
Sept. 13 -- Reynoldsburg Doubles Tournament
Sept. 15 -- vs. Canal Winchester
Sept. 16 -- at Dublin Scioto
*Sept. 18 -- at Groveport
Sept. 19 -- vs. Granville
Sept. 20 -- OCC tournament at TBA
Sept. 25 -- at Westerville Central