Showing Support for the Court

Tennis Team Advances To Playoffs

Jillian Parks

With covered courts and small seating areas, tennis does not make a lot of noise in terms of their practices, season, and progress. However, the team has been performing well in matches so far, and they are preparing for playoffs with state matches starting on Tuesday. 

“Right now we are finishing the regular season and looking forward to playing for the state title,” senior London Schamun said. 

The team practices at least twice a week with two days reserved for matches. Practices consist of us warming up, then doing various drills or practice matches. Skills include forehands, backhands, volleys, and serves, and sometimes play challenge matches against each other to determine lineups for upcoming matches.

“Our [first] matchup [was] against A&M Consolidated High School, which is our last regular seeding match,” senior Vinay Mannem said. “Our first playoff match is Tuesday at home, and if we win we will play on Thursday at home.”

Of course, COVID has impacted the teams practices in some ways. Players are required to wear masks when not practicing, benches have been marked with six feet of social distance in between, and visitors can only watch matches from outside the fences. There are also some tennis players that have opted for online school and have to find ways to practice outside of school to make up for the lost court time. However, most players have not seen too much of an adjustment.

“Tennis is a pretty distanced sport, so we haven’t changed much besides wearing masks when we are together in groups,” Schamun said. 

Seniors interested in playing tennis in college also have to add another set of responsibilities to their plates. They will usually film themselves during a match or drills, sending the tape to recruiting colleges. Some will also play external tournaments through USTA which college scouts can see the results of. Recruiters can also visit during practices or matches. 

“College recruiting for tennis is very competitive, so those looking to play in college have to play a lot of tournaments to get a good ranking and also meet coaches,” senior Natalia Salvia said. 

Whether students play for the future or for the fun of it, the team has worked hard this season, finishing 2nd in the district. Spectators can watch from the outside, but anyone can make an inside impact by congratulating the players and sending love to the players and coaches. 

“I think people think tennis is a boring sport or an ‘easy’ sport when it really is not,” senior Jordan Cheek said. “It’s a really fun sport to play and watch. Matches can get really intense and I wish people would come out and support tennis more often.”