Tennis team takes on;  new season, new successes 

ABBEY KROENER  , Sports Editor

   Doubles, singles, and mixed doubles- tennis players are prepping for the season. The top two or three players are the singles players while the next four play as doubles partners.  Senior Conrad Ogden claims that the two are “a lot different as far as strategizing.” 

    The mixed coed doubles are one girl and one boy versus another girl and boy. Junior Jenna Heim enjoys “playing with the guys they’re very entertaining and fun to be around.” 

  The athletes have some say in their partners, but mostly it’s whoever is ranked next to each other on the player ladder.  There are about seven returning varsity players and seven returning players who were on JV last year. There are about two returning seniors, five juniors, and eight sophomores.      

      Ogden says, “usually the old players have to show the new players how to hit their basic hits and returns, but the coaches try to start them off evenly. The new players tend to improve from whatever level they came in at by a lot.”  

     Heim also thinks that the returning players can help by “explaining the point system so that the players understand how to keep score. Along with giving small tips to improve accuracy or placement.” 

  The ones in charge throughout the tennis season are Wendy Feight as the varsity coach and Jeff Sadler as the JV coach. Practice is usually coed, but JV and varsity are split between the middle and high school courts.  

     Determining the difference between singles and doubles mainly comes down to challenge matches. For tryouts every single girl will play each other. The same goes for the boys. Then the coaches tally up who had the most wins and the best players will be singles, then doubles.  You can also challenge the person ranked above you to try and move up. 

  Sophomore, Luke Phillips plays tennis to keep in shape throughout the spring.  He hopes to “get up to varsity again and beat Fallston’s first doubles team.” He enjoys getting to spend time with his friends at practice. 

      While Heim also just started this activity to stay in shape and have fun, she realized that it has brought her and her dad closer together since “he also enjoys the sport.” She adds, “it allows me to gain some scholarship money too.” 

  Heim’s goal is to make it to regionals again, since she had the opportunity to go last year.  Although overall, she hopes to improve her form and accuracy. Her favorite part of tennis is the matches because “everyone is pumped up and I’m in a positive mood.”  While enjoying the sport, Heim isn’t a fan of conditioning. 

       The junior says that since they got a new coach this year, “tryouts felt a little slow and unorganized.” She adds that on the bright side, “we’ve already figured out all of our players’ positions, although with the virus going around the season will slow down even more.” 

       Ogden has played tennis for over 11 years now and he said it has changed a lot for him, “I used to not take it seriously at all and just mess around, now I actually really care about the sport.”  According to the senior, he hopes to have fun for the season. He says that he is excited because “from what I’ve seen we have a lot of new upcoming players who are really good.” He adds, “also it’s my senior year and I’ve come a long way, I’m going to try to win but as long as I’m with my team I’m happy.”  Ogden always looks forward to “playing doubles with a good partner, because when you both are playing on the same level, it’s like you’re connected and it’s pretty fun.” 

  While some may be experienced, others may be new to the sport.  Senior, Natasha Sherinsky has never really played competitive tennis before, this year has been her first time and she says it’s “going very well, everyone is so nice and helpful.”  She first decided to do it because of a good friend who is also on the team, she claims that it would also be a fun experience. 

      The tennis newcomer thinks “practices are fine.” She goes on that they “did lots of conditioning, which is always hard but pays off in the end and the drills are great because they are fun but still help us work on our skills.” 

       The senior states that she is enjoying the season so far, “my favorite part is getting to make new friends, because I probably wouldn’t have met these people if it wasn’t for tennis,” According to Sherinsky, this year her main goal is to “have fun and improve at tennis.” She adds, “I don’t have a base line so any improvement would be great.”