Uncertainty around standout players may affect season

Uncertainty around standout players may affect season

You got served: Maddy Dupee ’20 hits a backhand in a 14-4 loss last season on Sept. 14 against Palos Verdes High School. Pinted with permission of Woo Sim

The girls’ tennis team remains eager to begin its season, despite the potential loss of two of its star players.
Star twin duo Sophia Ekstrand ’20 and Erika Ekstrand ’20 are still deciding whether or not they will be playing for the team this year.
The team is still excited for the season regardless of the confusion about the roster, Maddy Dupee ’20 said .
“We as a team are not sure whether or not the Ekstrands are playing this year, but either way our coach has been very excited about new recruits and new team members that will be on the team next year,” Dupee said. “We love the Ekstrands and hope that they decide to stay on the team though.”
The squad also lost three seniors and had a player removed from the team last season.
Despite the threat of players leaving, Dupee is still optimistic about the team’s potential for this season.
“We hope to win league this year again, and of course would love to make it as far as we can in CIF,” Dupee said.
Coach Jelena Durisic said she isn’t worried about the potential of losing players.
“Losing players is part of the sport,” Durisic said. “Luckily each season, we have many who would love to be a part of the team and are eager to play. Harvard-Westlake has a great middle school team as well, where girls are motivated to improve and when they go into ninth grade, they are ready to compete, and this will be the case this upcoming season. I am excited for this season, and look forward to working with all the girls.”
The team plans on returning to glory after missing the CIF finals last year for the first time in three years.
The Wolverines, however, had more individual success than team success as Erika Ekstrand went on to win mission league in the singles division last year.
Grace Swift ’19 said the squad plans on utilizing its strong team chemistry to lead them back to the CIF finals.
Swift remains very excited for the upcoming season, she said.
“It’ll be a good year in terms of being a close-knit team that has a lot of fun together,” Swift said. “I hope we all push each other to be the best tennis players we can be, and hopefully that leads to a CIF championship.”
Swift said she is looking forward to having a leadership role on the squad this year.
“My role, as one of three seniors on the team, will definitely be one of leadership for the underclassmen,” Swift said. “The other seniors and I will be important for rallying the team and keeping morale up throughout the season.”
The squad will return to play Tuesday, Sept. 4 against Westlake High School. It will be the team’s first game with Weddington Golf and Tennis as its home court.
The team’s first league game will be on Sept. 18 against Notre Dame. Last season, the squad finished 1-1 against Notre Dame.

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