The Quaker Valley girls tennis team faced the task this season of replacing two-time WPIAL champion and PIAA singles runner-up Spencer Caravaggio and four-year starter Samantha Richman.
But the expectations for the Quakers remain the same.
"Our goals are the same -- section champions, WPIAL champions and PIAA participants," Quakers first-year coach Christi Hays said.
Hays, who takes over for Jeff Sebastian, was a volunteer assistant on Quaker Valley's staff last season and takes over a program that has won six of the past nine WPIAL championships.
That includes last season, when the Quakers defeated Sewickley Academy, 3-2, in the district final and advanced to the PIAA quarterfinals.
But Caravaggio, who is now playing at Duquesne University, and No. 2 singles player Richman are gone.
So the Quakers are leaning on their four returning starters, led by sophomore and new No. 1 singles player Farrah Bojalad.
"I would honestly say it's been a bit challenging so far for her finding her game at No. 1," Hays said. "It is a very different level of opponent than she faced most of the time last year at No. 3 singles.
"But hopefully she will continue to grow into the position. The team needs her best effort."
Bojalad finished fourth in the Class AA Section 6 singles tournament last season. To help improve her game this summer, she spent two weeks in Boca Raton, Fla., at the Chris Evert Tennis Academy.
It was the third consecutive year Bojalad attended the academy.
"I love it," she said. "You get to play against a lot of international competition. It's a really good experience."
She is also leaning on the lessons she learned from Caravaggio last season.
Caravaggio didn't lose a set during the WPIAL Class AA tournament and advanced to the PIAA final despite playing with a shoulder injury that forced her to serve underhand.
Her perseverance taught Bojalad tennis is more than just physical ability.
"Even with her injury, she was able to be successful," Bojalad said. "It showed me that you have to be mentally strong. It's not just about the strokes."
Bojalad is one of two sophomore starters for the Quakers, along with Emily Kraus. But six seniors -- Caroline Steliotes, Isa Hubsch, Emily Veek, Lydia Sopp, Emma McCormish and Clara Murray -- are also contributors this season.
Steliotes, Hubsch and Veek all started at doubles for Quaker Valley last season, when the team's only regular-season loss was against Sewickley Academy.
While just an exhibition, Quaker Valley was swept, 5-0, by Beaver two weeks ago. But the match was closer than the score indicated -- three matches went to a third set. Hays believes as the season advances, her team will improve and possibly exceed others' expectations.
"Last year, I thought they underproduced a little bit," Hays said. "I thought we could have gone deeper into the PIAAs. This year I'm hoping we overproduce."