Ready to prove themselves: how the tennis team looks to create a season to remember

Michael Barthelemy, Sports Editor

Coming into this season with a fairly young side, the girls tennis team has chosen to embrace the underdog role that has been thrown at them rather than to run from it.

Playing into the role of a Cinderella team means there needs to be an ample amount of support from teammates. When the cards are stacked against you within a match, having the upper hand in terms of team support is what can sway a match to the other side.

“To other schools we’re seen as an underdog, so I feel like as a team we are very supportive of each other no matter if someone is winning or losing,” junior Danina Hughes said. “I think our support for one another stands out compared to other schools.”

This sense of community has become rooted into the program. The team has been working with one another since the summer in order to truly make it feel that everyone is fighting for one common goal.

“This is the first time I’ve played on a tennis team,” Hughes explained. “When I was coming to the programs in the summer, it wasn’t like they were trying to cast me out because I was new, they were trying to bring me in to become a part of the team.”

Coming in with many younger players playing at the varsity level, it can be expected that the team could suffer from a lack of experience. Looking up and down the lineup though, senior captain Zoe Coleman doesn’t view that as the case.

“In my opinion, I wouldn’t say the younger members aren’t as good as the seniors, so I don’t think I really have to do that much to make sure we’re at the same level,” Coleman explained. “A sophomore may be more prepared than a senior, so I don’t think age makes a real difference.”

Coleman, being one of the leaders for this squad, has beaten the odds before and hopes that she, through her own experiences, can help invoke a belief in oneself.

“I started playing tennis as a freshman and then went up the ranks. I can help the other players understand that anything is possible,” Coleman said. “Even if you’re down 5-0 in a game or a match you can still win, and I think that’s part of the idea that I try to bring to all the players on the team.”

Being able to have confidence in oneself and one’s abilities can make all the difference in the world. Having the mentality that you can do whatever you set your mind to is the most powerful weapon not only in sport, but in life in general. Recognizing this truth, the team has tried to preach this into existence, knowing that it can put them over the top.

“I think the belief in oneself is important. The people on this team have hit great shots, they’ve played great matches in practice, so if that can translate to matches, we will be a lot more successful,” Hughes explained. “When we go out to matches and play schools expected to win, we have nothing to lose and all the things to gain.”

The Kits will look to spread this confidence into their play tomorrow, as they will take part in the Evanston Quad at the Lake Street Courts at 8:30 a.m.