The New Albany High School boys tennis team has full confidence that it can build on its accomplishments of last season, when it advanced two doubles teams to the Division I state tournament and watched one of them place third.

The New Albany High School boys tennis team has full confidence that it can build on its accomplishments of last season, when it advanced two doubles teams to the Division I state tournament and watched one of them place third.

All four of those players are back, although they had to wait a while longer than anticipated to showcase their skills.

Each of New Albany's first four scheduled matches was postponed because of bad weather, including three OCC-Capital Division contests and an April 6 meeting against Bexley. The Eagles and Lions had completed warmups and were about to begin play when a short rainstorm rendered New Albany's home facility unplayable.

As a result of the schedule changes, the Eagles' first dual match was set for April 13 at home against Reynoldsburg.

"I'm still very excited about how we've looked. Out of my four years, this is the best we've looked," said senior C.J. Cash, who teamed with senior Alex Kobelt last year to finish third at state after recording a sectional championship and district runner-up finish. "We have the opportunity to be great every year, but I just sense that everybody wants it more. Every year, we get a little bit stronger and a little bit better. This is the year we are really going to step it up. There is unlimited potential."

New Albany's other two returning state qualifiers are senior Nick Blair and sophomore Graeme Green. They went 0-1 at state.

The Eagles' fifth state qualifier from a year ago, 2014 graduate Stephen Miller, went 1-1 in singles. He now plays at Toledo.

New Albany went 13-2 overall and 7-0 in the OCC-Capital to win the title ahead of runner-up Worthington Kilbourne (6-1).

Kobelt defeated Cash 7-6, 6-2 in an early challenge match to win the first-singles spot, at least temporarily. If the two do not team in doubles later this season, Cash hopes to thrive from an offseason program that included work with a personal trainer and an emphasis on his serve, which he said now reaches up to 130 mph.

"If I serve like that, I think I am in pretty good shape to keep control," Cash said. "I feel like I can explode into my serve and drive the ball a lot faster. With the strength work I've done, I think I can go toe-to-toe with a lot more people because I can hold my serve game and keep control and hopefully outlast people."

Third-year coach Marc Thomas penciled Green in at third singles, but did not rule out occasionally putting him at first doubles with Blair, who said he focused on his play at the net during the offseason.

"I feel like I can pretty much dominate at the net," Blair said. "I worked on my serve and volley a lot this offseason. At the state tournament, I was bad at those, and I knew I had to get better."

The rest of the team consists of seniors Ben Teich and Jordan Tennenbaum and juniors Noah Fox, Harrison Lippy and Bhargava Samanthula.

New Albany's originally scheduled season, home and league opener against Mount Vernon was postponed from April 2 to April 29. An OCC-Capital match at Olentangy Orange was postponed from April 7 to April 27, and no makeup date was immediately available for a rained-out April 9 match at Kilbourne.

"Right now, we have eight that we will rotate. It's not a clear eight," Thomas said. "I could make an argument for quite a few guys. We will rotate eight, and that's eight solid players. It's going to be tough to figure out who will play where. We are pretty set at singles, but we have to win at doubles, too. Those points will be important.

"It's going to be one of those things where can we play well in the big matches? We have a tough schedule. ... Can we put it together and be playing well at the end of the season when it counts?"