If the Ramblers are to defend their Catholic League championship, they will do it with a rebuilt lineup.
Seniors and captains Patrick Lawler and Ryan Reardon are the only two players back with significant varsity experience. Both played at the conference tournament last season.
Lawler plays doubles, while Reardon plays both singles and doubles.
“Putting together a lineup is an on-going process,” Loyola head coach Tom Fitzgerald said. “It helps to have leaders like Patrick and Ryan. They have great attitudes and take their talent as far as they can.”
In a talented eight-team field with a limited roster, the Ramblers finished fifth Saturday at Latin’s Roman Tennis Invitational in Chicago. The host Romans, who were third in Class A last year, took first. New Trier, runner-up in Class AA last season, was second.
Lawler and senior John Carpenter placed fifth at No. 1 doubles, while Reardon and junior Ethan Tong took fifth at No. 2 doubles.
“The competition was good for our team,” Fitzgerald said.
Other players in the mix for spots in the postseason lineup include senior Michael Reardon and sophomores Brendan Hadley, John Rosinski and Michael Sullivan.
“The sophomores are good, but they are not quite there,” Fitzgerald said. “They are getting needed experience this year.”
According to Fitzgerald, Ryan Reardon likely will play singles for the May 10 league tournament, but he will join his cousin, Michael, in doubles for the Class AA state series. The Ramblers are at New Trier’s sectional, which is May 17-18.
“We are still trying to find the right lineup,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s something that we have to do quickly.”