PERKINSTON — The Mississippi Gulf Coast women's tennis team heads into the 2019 season a little shorthanded but still aiming to make some noise.
Three players left unexpectedly at the break, but coach Gary Bourgeois has recruited a pair of soccer players to help fill out his roster.
"We're just looking for improvement from the whole team," he said. "There are things we're in control of and things we're not, so we just want to get better in the things we can. They're all competitive. They're very aware there aren't any expectations, so I think we can sneak up on some people."
The Lady Bulldogs travel to play Copiah-Lincoln on Thursday before playing their first home match Friday. First serve at the MGCCC Tennis Complex is set for 1 p.m.
The Lady Bulldogs return a strong No. 1 player in Margarita Lopareva (So., Moscow Russia/School No. 1101), who won the MACJC championship at No. 2 singles and advanced to the semifinals of the main draw at the NJCAA tournament.
"Margarita Lopareva is still the No. 1 player in the state," Bourgeois said. "She'll battle a couple of people for the top position. With her tenacity and playing ability, she's got a good chance to win it all."
Megan Bankston (So., Gulfport/Gulfport) returns after winning the No. 4 singles title at state and advanced to the NO. 2 doubles semifinals in the main draw last season at nationals. She'll line up at No. 2 singles this year.
Destiny Davis (Fr., George County/George County) had a strong fall in her first semester on campus and will play No. 3 singles.
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