By Ashley Khakshouri
After a second round playoff loss to Peninsula, the varsity girlsâ tennis team is looking for a long run through the playoffs.
Led by Captain Nicole Hung â10, the team won the Mission League title over rival Chaminade last year.
The team kicks off its season on Thursday with a scrimmage opposing Beverly Hills High School and its first match on Sept. 24 against Peninsula High School.
The loss of several seniors including number one singles player, Caroline Richman â09 will put more pressure on returning Captain Nicole Hung â10 to lead the team.
“Nicole is an exceptional athlete and leads by example,” Head Coach Chris Simpson said. Still, he did not dismiss the significance of losing Richman.
“She was our number one ranked singles player, so that will be a difficult loss to overcome. We donât have any returning singles players who are ranked,” Simpson said.
Hung also pointed out that several veteran players are returning.
“We still have a lot of experience because a lot of the seniors have been here for a few years,” Hung said.
Though untested, the team should also benefit from an influx of new talent, namely last yearâs number one eighth grade player, Savannah Demonesque â12. Demonosque has already caught the eye of some of her new teammates.
“Weâve all noticed that Savannah has a lot of potential and will be a strong addition to the team,” Luna Ikuta â11 said.
Tryouts are still being held and the co-captain has yet to be determined, Simpson said.
“We should know two weeks after school starts,” he said.
Simpson said his goal for this season is to “dominate the league.”
“We want to be totally physically and emotionally prepared,” Simpson said. “We want to definitely start a little bit better than we started last year.”
The players have been working hard for their fitness, Simpson said. “A lot of the girls have been training in the off-season and in the summer and they look fitter, a bit sharper.”
Simpson said the team will begin the season with a very difficult schedule: “We always start with many tough teams in the month of September and October and hopefully we can peak in November and go further than we did last year.”