Girls hope to reach CIF finals

Girls hope to reach CIF finals

Backhand: Senior Madeleine Dupee ’20 prepares for the ball. After the loss of last season’s seniors, Dupee said that she will embrace more of a leadership role for the incoming underclassmen. Credit: Zack Schwartz/Chronicle.

After the departure of three seniors from last year’s squad, the girls’ tennis team hopes to build camaraderie behind the leadership of returning players.

Last season, the team started strong and defeated Beverly Hills High School in its home opener. However, singles and doubles player Kylie Azizzadeh ’21 said the squad struggled to secure consecutive wins until the middle of the season.

“Our goals are to improve our overall consistency and start out stronger at the beginning of matches rather than having to mount a comeback at the end,” Azizzadeh said.

Previously made up of mostly underclassmen, the entire varsity roster will return. Around thirty new players also recently participated in tryouts, making this year historically successful in recruiting, singles and doubles player Kate Konvitz ’20 said. Despite the loss of last season’s seniors, the team hopes to develop its younger players with the help of experienced veterans, Azizzadeh said.

“Since we were such a new team last year consisting of a lot of freshman, a big challenge for us was being able to work together as a team,” Azizzadeh said. “I think as we continue playing together and building stronger relationships, we will be able to overcome this challenge .”

Although tryouts began at the end of the summer, players have begun training independently during the off-season.

Because tennis is an individual sport with lots of intricacies, the players benefited from the guidance of private trainers and elite tennis camps, Konvitz said. Going into the season, the players are currently reacquainting themselves with the team environment, and have worked to continue building team chemistry.  Both go hand in hand with achieving a winning season, Zoller and Konvitz said.

“At times, our team struggles with communication on the court,” Zoller said. “The team’s goals are to communicate well and bond more in order to feel more comfortable on the court. We are looking forward to being together and playing.”

Singles and doubles player Kimberly Tan ’22 said that the squad looks to avenge themselves in their season opener Sept. 4 against Westlake High School, who the Wolverines lost 11-7 to in their first match of last season. Their first home game will take place Sept. 10 against Mira Costa High School.

“The team’s goal is to create an inclusive environment for every player and embrace the strengths of each player’s game,” Tan said.

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