By Madi Massey ’21
All four of the girls tennis teams have been working to make this season as rewarding as possible. Players have been attending practices for the past few weeks to develop their skills and get ready for the matches ahead.
The program got off to a slow start this year, as the first four meets were cancelled due to excessive heat, as well as the varsity team’s first match directly following Labor Day weekend. According to the Girls Tennis Program Head Jelena Durisic, this resulted in not having all their combinations down before the match, but overall these obstacles were a minor setback and provided a good learning experience for the team.
The varsity team meets five days a week and plays one to two matches every week. However, the girls said they have a lot of fun practicing and competing in tennis. The varsity squad also has many goals they wish to accomplish this year, including receiving rewards and maintaining records. The varsity squad hopes to become the sole champions of Mission League this year, as opposed to last year in which they were co-champions. In the past two years, the team reached CIF finals, which were the first and second times in school history, and they are working to continue to reach that goal. They will be competing for the individual, doubles and team championships. The varsity squad also hopes to win the State Team Championship and get the highest GPA. They have an overall record of 3-2 and 2-0 in league.
“It’s a great group of enthusiastic girls on the varsity team and we’re looking forward to a great season,” Durisic said.
While the JV squad is not competing for any titles specifically, they hope to win as many games as possible.
“Tennis is a really fun sport because you get to interact with a lot of other students and all the coaches really help you improve,” JV player Kylie Azizzadeh ’21 said.
The girls on the JV squad said that they are enjoying themselves on the court and learning a lot from their coaches.
“I’ve been playing tennis for a while and doing it at Harvard- Westlake is definitely the best. I just love all the girls on the team and the coaches are super nice and helpful,” JV player Dottie Shayegan ’21 said.
There are both red and black middle school squads this year; the players were randomly split up into the two squads, unlike past years in which the black had been the more advanced one.
“Tennis is definitely one of my favorite sports, and this is my second year being captain of the team, and I think tennis is a great way to stay active and meet new people along the way,” black team captain Jade Zoller ’22 said.
So far, the black team has only played two games, and the red team played their first game on Sept. 29. The middle school squads will compete in the Delphic League and will try to win the Delphic League Team Championship and also have the ability to win the Singles and Doubles Championship. The coaches want the squads to receive the first and second places in the Delphic League. They also hope to obtain the Sportsmanship Award, and end the season with a winning record.
“We’re a young team with a lot of young players, but we’re all very hard working and we’re excited to see what the season brings,” Durisic said about her overarching perspective on the upcoming season.