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Girls Tennis Switches League, Makes Adjustments

Mina Orlic, Sports Editor

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   The UC High Girls Varsity Tennis Team has come out swinging this season with an overall record of 9-8-2. The girls have been working hard to build a cohesive team that will work well together to finish at the top of their league. Senior Captain Salma Iraqi stated, “Our team’s goal is to play harder together in order to be placed in the top five of our league.”

  “Individually, I just want to improve as a whole. I also want my team to improve as well, and if not, to just enjoy tennis,” commented Senior Captain Annie McMannis. Sophomore Isa Montoya added, “My goal is to get better at my backhand and to be able to place the ball where I want it.”

   The team has had to adjust to switching into the San Diego Section this year. In this new league, they are up against teams from Christian High, Madison High, Mira Mesa High, Point Loma High, San Diego High, and Serra High. “Our rivals are definitely Point Loma and Serra, because they are the strongest in our league, and they are very impressive,” said Iraqi. McMannis stated, “We beat Madison every year, but this year we lost to them in the first round. So, you know, we’re out for revenge!”

   There are many differences between playing tennis as a singles player and playing as a doubles player. Not only are the doubles alleys, which run along the length of the court on both sides, not considered in play during a singles game, but the strategies used in doubles and singles matches are also very different.

   Iraqi explained, “It’s very important that both doubles players are on the same page. Doubles are definitely all team based; both players need to communicate and be cooperative.” Montoya commented, “Playing doubles can be very frustrating if you and your partner aren’t good at communicating.” In an effort to build chemistry amongst players, the team has had a couple of team bonding sessions, such as a potluck at La Jolla Shores and a team dinner, where they have gotten to know each other off the court.

   “In my opinion, the serve is the hardest part of tennis, at least for me. The serve is the most important part of a match, because if someone has a nice, strong serve it makes it easier for them to beat their opponent quicker.” Montoya said, “I think the hardest part of tennis is keeping your motivation up after losing a couple of points or losing a match.”

McMannis, who is primarily a singles player, said, “I think tennis is not just a physical game, but also a mental game. It’s a lot of strategy and if you don’t fully think everything through it’s hard to succeed.”

    The girls plan to continue to work hard as a team in order to have a fun season in which they can improve on their skills as much as possible, and hopefully place in the top five of their league. McMannis exclaimed, “I can see that the team is definitely already improving as the season progresses!”

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Girls Tennis Switches League, Makes Adjustments