By: Abby Beauregard, Jacob Sprankle and Josh Imholte

The girls varsity tennis team has high hopes for the 2014 season.  Despite a close round of matches with TL Hannah at state last year, the team wasn’t able to pull off a victory.

With five of the twelve girls on the team being seniors, the team knows it’s go big or go home this year.

“We are more focused than ever. This season is really important especially for our seniors,” senior Caroline Sinegar said.

Making it to the State Championship is an important but attainable goal for a team that has made appearances in the State Championship for the past two years, but they have yet to bring home a first place trophy.

“I believe these girls can get the state title this year as long as they believe in themselves and fight until the end of every match.” coach Gina Hilts said.

The girls know they will have to practice hard to achieve this goal, and hope to make strides both on and off the court.

“I hope to become a stronger person. Not only mentally but as a tennis player as well,” senior Haley Owens said.

In order to do that, the team must have dedication and practice on technique.

“Because we are competitively going for the state title, this season is going to be a lot more intense,” Caroline said.

In addition to the team’s goals, individual players hope to improve their own play, including Sam Calais, the only court to eke out a victory at last year’s ill-fated match.

“For me personally, I want to improve on my serve and having more consistent points. As a team, I think it would be really good to just continue building unity.” said sophomore Sam Calais.

Even if the team makes it to State, there is no guarantee of a victory or even a shot to play.

Last year Caroline Sloop had to forfeit due to asthma problems.

But being on the tennis team is about more than just winning. It helps to create strong young athletes both on and off the court.

“I want to finish this season (my last year) knowing I did the best I could and leave on a positive note,” Haley said. “With our dedication, I also hope to gain a state title.”