A rough start to the season can hurt any team’s morale, but girls tennis has managed to turn it around just in time for this weekend’s Hawk Invite at Maine South.
“It’s a long day with a lot of tennis. We’ve already prepared by getting physically fit and building our endurance,” said Head Coach Joyce Anderson. “We just need to maintain that fitness and continue working on playing smart tennis.”
At the invite, the Kits will play four singles matches along with four doubles. The Kits are especially strong at singles, with juniors Abbey Moore and Jessica Ampel expected to be key contributors this weekend.
Despite the high pressure environment of an invite, the Kits aren’t changing their approach. “We don’t concern ourselves with who we are playing. I expect our girls to leave everything out on the court and trust what they’ve trained to do,” explains Anderson.
A key point made by Anderson is that the result of this weekend’s invite aren’t the chief concern for the Kits. “We de-emphasize outcome and focus on the things we can control. If we play smart and loose, we will play well. Wins and Losses are just something I look at when the season is over to evaluate our overall performance. I want them to enjoy the game. If that happens, we’ve won in my book.”
The Kits have rebounded well from their early losses to Oak Park River Forest and Whitney Young, with junior Sam Mulica saying “The first two matches were a challenge, but once the whole team got back in the swing of things, we won the next few with ease.”
Senior Rachel Clemens attributes those losses to Oak Park River Forest and Whitney Young to a lack of experience, saying “More than half of our players are new to varsity. It was tough at first trying to figure out our new dynamic.”
The loss to Whitney Young especially stung, with Clemens saying “We had some really close matches, but it ended up not being enough.”
Anderson added “It takes some time to get accustomed going from JV/frosh/soph to varsity. The level of play is drastically different, and we have seven new varsity players in the starting line-up.”
However, the Kits are currently riding a five match winning streak, and are feeling good about the rest of the season. “I think we have a great season ahead of us if we continue to play the way we are now,” said Mulica.
The Kits begin next week with a trip to Regina on Tuesday and Maine South on Wednesday.