Green Hope has 13 straight conference championships but Panther Creek has been fast on its heels.
However, the defending champion Falcons are loaded, with no one graduating from last year’s lineup that reached the third round of the NCHSAA 4A playoffs before falling to back-to-back state champ Wakefield.
Green Hope (14-2, 13-0*): Sophomore Ben Wayand returns as the Falcons’ top singles player from a year ago while junior George Edwards was the SWAC runnerup in singles. Senior Louis Rico and junior Matt Whitney were SWAC runnersup in doubles.
Junior Eshaan Javalkar, sophomore Rohit Ghotkar, sophomore Ashwin Inala, sophomore Vik Shashidha and senior Ashwyn Iyer will also factor into the lineup.
Panther Creek (12-4, 12-2): Matt Fahys is one half of the SWAC champion doubles team from a season ago. The Catamounts, which lost in the first round of last year’s 4A playoffs, will have an experienced top four, with seniors Ty Giggey, Anuraag Argawal, Alex Zietlow and Fahys.
Holly Springs (11-3, 10-3*): Juniors Grant Miller and Chris Gold were state qualifiers in singles and return as the Golden Hawks’ top two players. Holly Springs narrowly missed a 4A wild-card bid a year ago and will also bring back senior Kevin Kelly.
Apex (7-7, 7-7): Apex will be breaking in several new players after getting hit hard by graduation.
Middle Creek (9-7, 6-7*): Junior Nick Stachowiak is back after suffering a broken bone in his back last season. He won the 4A singles title and went undefeated as a freshman. Sophomore Grant McGrew, one half of a state qualifying doubles team, also returns.
Athens Drive (4-10, 4-10): Senior Mark Zaccerdelli and junior Andreas Combos give the Jaguars two of their top three players from a year ago.
Cary (3-12, 2-11*): Senior Will Lake and sophomores Noah Jabusch and Dylan Ramey will lead the way for the Imps.
Fuquay- Varina (0-14, 0-14): The Bengals bring back No. 1 singles player Everitt Dershen, who was one of four freshmen in the team’s top four seeds along with Ian Dershen and Curtis and Nolan Brugler.
*Green Hope and Holly Springs, as well as Cary and Middle Creek did not get to face each other twice last season.