The shakeup at the top of Dick Wedel's lineup is nothing like the one at the bottom.
Wedel, Lawrence High's tennis coach, had already penciled in Hester Wong at the top before she lost to Ashley Davis in an intrasquad match. With their series tied, 1-all, Wedel has no clear front-runner, or No. 2, or No. 3 or...
"Hester and Ashley are two of our top players," Wedel said. "After that, it's the usual bunch of suspects. I don't know how it's going to come out. We might have to use a dart board."
Wedel does know Wong, Davis and Kathrin Walsh -- his three returning letter-winners -- will be near the top. Wedel has eight other seniors on his roster.
"Even though we've got a lot of seniors, we don't have a lot of experience," Wedel said. "We've also got a lot of sophomores but only two juniors. We've got a lot of new players. None of the juniors have played before, and several of the seniors are new to the team."
WEDEL OPENED two-a-days with 12 players. When school started, the number swelled to 19.
"I was hoping to get 20," Wedel said, "so 19 is great. That's enough we can have some variety. Maybe we'd be more intensive with 12 or 13 girls, but we have a big schedule, and they can't all go to all the meets."
Wedel will experiment at the early meets to establish a lineup.
"We're also trying to see who can play singles and who can play doubles," he said. "That's not clear to me. We've done quite a bit of drilling, and we have a few ideas but nothing solid."
The Lions, Wedel said, should be solid if not spectacular.
"I've been real pleased," he said. "There has been a lot of improvement. I don't know if the kids have seen it, but we've seen it. They're working hard. I would hope we'd finish somewhere in the middle of the league. We won't be a dominant team, but they're improving."
LHS WILL open today at a quad at Leavenworth. Its home opener is next Thursday against Kansas City, Mo., Pembroke-Hill.
"It's getting to the point where they need to play in some meets," Wedel said. "Practice is getting old."
New this season is a two-day state tournament, Oct. 15-16 at Washburn Rural. Wedel's sold on the idea.
"The coaches have complained about (one-day tournaments) for years," Wedel said. "In order to win state, you have to play four matches in one day. That's just too much to expect. I'm glad to see that change."