Girls Tennis Adjusts to Increase of New Players; Veterans Give Advice

by Mira Wichelmann

Girls tennis is adjusting to the many new players, and rearing up for a great year with new perspective and old experience.

With a varied combination of both skilled players and a powerfully positive good attitude, they will be a foe to beat come first game. Eventually the competitive relationships between the players will strengthen, “Once practice starts, the bond (of the team) will hopefully grow stronger.” says Katie Riggan, year 11. There’s still concern for the kinks that are present in the beginning of any new team, like the cliques between grade levels and past captains returning, but the team will work hard to amend any past concerns or issues that had been present. The captains didn’t apply themselves as much as they could have last season, allegedly, and now with only Julia Chapman heading the large team, the outcome will no doubt be interesting. Will she be able to control a group of inexperienced freshmen and sophomores, while still earning the respect of the juniors?

At the beginning of the 2017 season, the consensus was that the year before there had been power players and coming in then, there were none. This year, in the words of Olivia Lapioli, year 11, “Simone Sutton has been taking private lessons for some time, so she’s definitely a power player.” and “Brook Weder keeps an influential good attitude all the time, which is half the battle.” so with the new influx of strong players, the outcomes of the games will no doubt be rewarding, no matter the score.

When lined up against other schools, the girls tennis team is self-proclaimed as “Having a good attitude while also not knowing much about how to play tennis”, states Katie Riggan, year 11, which is a recipe for success. The charismatic and skilled personalities that make up the team are the reason the next season will be so exciting, because the interest is always in the people involved and how the team will interact with each other and the other schools as well.

Similar to last year, the team is coached by O’Brien and McGee, with the help of three new coaches. “(They are) all encouraging, helpful, and patient with the players”says Olivia Lapioli, year 11. With a strong foundation of patience right off the bat, new players will hopefully feel welcomed by the coaches and eventually by the rest of the team. If new players can feel accepted in a foreign environment, then all the better for the overall gain of the team. Hopefully the new players will have experience on a sports team because as Lapioli states, “Playing more than one sport helped my (forehand) swing”.

Interesting tennis tips have also been supplied by the team for the paper, such as “If you can see the seams of the ball while it’s spinning in the air, that means you’re focused in on the game” and the information that “If you learn how to focus in school and in tennis, the skills amplify one another and increase the quality of both.” supplied by Olivia Lapioli, year 11, and that it’s “easier to work in school after practice with the rush of endorphins” from Katie Riggan, year 11.

The tennis team has promising prospects this year with the new skill sets from the freshmen and returning sophomores, and while the team is large they’re still asking for more enthusiastic players! If interested, contact Matt O’Brien over email.

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