Story by Warner Otto and Trey Martin, photo by GoFlashWin
With summer ending and the school year beginning, that means the start of the girls tennis season. The girls used this past summer to prepare for the competition.
“I took lessons and practiced with the girls on the team. I also worked out to stay in shape,” senior Jenna Bradfute said.
For most players it’s their last year and they look back at the unforgettable memories and moments they have had on the team.
“It’s bittersweet because I’m glad that I’m a senior but at the same time it’s sad because I love being on the team and hitting with my friends and teammates everyday,” senior Alison Walsh said. “I’ve been on the team since seventh grade so it’s a big part of my life that will be gone next year, but I’m looking forward to college.”
There are two girls who lead the team and help keep the team focus on success. Those girls have the honor to be apart of the team’s success.
“Our two captains this year are Jenna Bradfute and Celine Robinson. They are great team leaders because they both care so much for the team and are always wanting to improve as a team and themselves,” Alison said. “They are very supportive and good leaders that we look up to. Their support encourages the team to always play our best and to win.”
With preparation for matches and practice it can be tough to balance the season and school.
“Sometimes it’s challenging to balance both school and tennis, but it takes good time management,” Alison said. “Luckily I have two senior study halls so that helps out a little. I’m always trying to get homework done during free time in class or bus rides to away matches.”
Outside of the team, the players still have to make sure they keep their skills up. Keeping their skills will help them win matches.
“Since my main weakness is consistency, I usually like to just rally around with my dad or friends. Playing matches with people also helps me work on playing under pressure. Sometimes I’ll work with the ball machine to improve my stroke if I have the time or take out a hopper and practice serves,” senior Audrey Wang said. “Watching the pros and seeing how they hit and move is also helpful.”
The Girl’s tennis team won a title two years ago and last year they lost. So that makes us wonder what is going to happen this year.
“This year we are in the lower state. I think the lower state will be a little easier as far a competition than the upper state,” varsity girls tennis coach Gina Hilts said.
With a new year there are all types of different girls on the team. Each girl brings something different to the team.
“I think this team is eager to win the state title again. We have several seniors on this team that want to win it again before they graduate,” Hilts said.
As the season is already well underway, Hilts believes that this team is similar to ones that have made a run at the title in the past.
“This team compared to teams in the past are about the same as far as skill level,” Hilts said. “This team has a chance to get back to state and possible win it if they play their best. They are very talented and have the experience.”