FAUQUIER FALCONS

Coach: Becca Isaac, first year.

District: AAA Commonwealth.

Last year: Third in AA Northwestern District.

Top returners: Amanda Weir, Soph.; Danelle Thie, Sr.; Laura Dammer, Soph.

Outlook: This is a season of changes for the Falcons: New season (Fauquier played girls tennis in the spring last year as a Group AA school), new head coach (Isaac was a volunteer assistant for the past two years) and new players. Junior Katharina Klimek, a German exchange student, has stepped in as the No. 1 player; Weir (No. 2), Thie (No. 3) and Dammer (No. 4) were on the team last year. Fauquier is 2-1, with wins over Sherando and James Wood and a loss to Stafford. "Our weakness right now is that our girls don't have a lot of match experience," Isaac said.

HIGHLAND HAWKS

Coach: Charles Britton, first year.

Conference: Delaney Athletic.

First-year team.

Top players: Ayumu Josha, Sr.; Malia Ford, Soph.; Tiffany Luck, Fr.

Outlook: Highland received an anonymous donation of four tennis courts, and as a result the Warrenton private school is fielding its first tennis team. Seven girls came out for the team, only two of whom are seniors, which bodes well for the future. Josha, an exchange student from Japan, is the Hawks' No. 1 player. Senior Gisele Paula, the No. 7 player, is also an exchange student--from Brazil. "The inexperience is there," Britton said. "But the dedication and commitment is there at all the seeds. With a first-year program, we're getting down to the fundamentals. If we win, that's great."

NOTRE DAME DRAGONS

Coach: J.D. Almond, sixth year.

Conference: Delaney Athletic.

Last year: Won DAC team tournament title.

Top returners: Jessica Turbitt, Sr.; Claire Kettering, Soph.; Meg Galvan, Jr.; Kristen Ritenour, Soph.

Outlook: The Dragons have won the conference tournament three years in a row, and the goal this year is to take the regular season title as well (which they last won in 1997). Turbitt, the defending DAC singles champion, is back. Kettering and Galvan lost only one match apiece last year. The biggest surprise, other than the size of the team (21, by far Almond's largest), has been the emergence of Ritenour, who has moved up from No. 6 to No. 2. "She played all summer with her brother [Michael, who won the DAC singles title last year as a senior]," Almond said, "and is a lot stronger."

WAKEFIELD FIGHTING OWLS

Coach: Joan Moore, second year.

Conference: Delaney Athletic.

Last year: Fourth in DAC.

Top returners: Alexis Day, Jr.; Amanda Huffman, Soph.; Janelle Stevenson, Soph.; Dotti Lang, Sr.

Outlook: Two years ago, Wakefield didn't have enough girls interested in tennis to field a team; this year, there are 15 girls on it. The Plains school has no courts, which means the team must travel to Marshall to practice on public courts and to Middleburg to play its matches at the Foxcroft School. "We've got so many new players who are enthusiastic," Moore said. "We're hoping to get the interest going so we can get some courts at the school." Day was first-team all-DAC last year and is again the team's No. 1 player, with Huffman (second-team all-DAC) right behind her.