Mattoon tennis is ready to run it back. 

With a returning core intact from last year’s Apollo Conference champions, Avery Boyer and Lily Gregory say the team wants to do more than just win the conference.

They have their sights on winning the IHSA Sectional as well.

The Green Wave did not have a state qualifier last season, but Boyer said that the Wave could change that this season.

“We have all been out on the courts almost every day practicing and there’s definitely an improvement from the beginning of the summer to now,” said Boyer. “Qualifying for state is our ultimate goal, but first we are going to focus on defending our Apollo championship.”

Boyer participated in the summer rec program where she took advantage of group lessons from her coach. Boyer also attended a Nike tennis camp with a few teammates. Gregory, meanwhile, played at least two times a week with teammates and attended a four-day tennis camp at the University of Illinois.

“I feel that our continued play during this summer has only improved the skills of our players,” said Gregory. “I believe we can win Apollo once again this year. I’ve really noticed differences in Avery Gill and Gracie Willingham this summer. Their ongoing playtime clearly shows their dedication to the team and sport.”

Boyer said that with everyone’s improvement the Wave should have a “competitive” lineup. Mattoon placed third in the Sectional last season with 16 points, trailing second-place Teutopolis (24 points) and Sectional champion Robinson (26 points), despite having no state qualifiers.

“We came so close last year, so we’re really eager to make it that far this upcoming season, and I think we can do it,” said Gregory.