Squad builds on early season successes


Justin Goldstein

Jade Zoller ’22 sets up to hit a high forehand cross court in a match against Notre Dame High School.

Justin Goldstein

Despite initial postponements due to the coronavirus pandemic, the girls tennis team has started their season off strong, going 2-0 overall.

The squad beat Notre Dame 11-7 and Calabasas 14-4 in its first two matches of the season.

The season was originally in jeopardy, as the pandemic has caused many sports seasons to be pushed back or canceled indefinitely, given the numerous restrictions outlined by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH).

Singles and doubles player Jade Zoller ’22 said she is grateful for any opportunity to play with her teammates.

“My teammates and I have adopted a growth mindset for this season,” Zoller said. “I am super excited to be back competing with my friends in any capacity, and I am thankful that my team has been given the go-ahead to have a full season. I think I can speak for all my teammates when saying we hope to continue this positive momentum for the rest of the year.”

Because of the extensive time off produced by COVID-19 shutdowns, the team has had to train individually to stay in shape for the season. Singles and doubles player Maya Mathur ’22 said she has felt that it has been difficult to build a team dynamic.

“It was really hard not being able to see each other for so long, but each team member worked to improve their skills individually and are bringing that to the games this year,” Mathur said. “We used the time away to focus on ourselves, but now we are working together as a team in practices and during matches to find the team dynamic.”

Following an extended offseason, the girls had little time to train together as a team before their first match against Notre Dame High School. Singles and doubles player Kimberly Tan ’22 said the team has been doing drills to improve specific skills in preparation for their matches.

“Although it’s been tough to practice during COVID-19, I think our team has been working really hard to improve for the upcoming season,” Tan said. “We have been gaining more confidence training and spending time together on court, and I believe that we have the potential to grow and achieve success, especially with our new players. The team has been hitting, drilling and playing points in addition to sharpening skills and strokes during the offseason to best prepare for the upcoming season.”

Last year, the team had an overall record of 10-5 and a league record of 8-1. They won the division but then lost in the semi-finals of CIF to Woodbridge High School 10-8.

Members of the squad said they intend to take full advantage of the opportunity to have a spring season. Zoller said she has high expectations for the rest of the season.

“This year, my goals are to make CIFs with my team and to hopefully go further than last year,” Zoller said. “With the new sophomores added to the team this season, I believe we are stronger than ever, and so I am really looking forward to making a deep run in playoffs.”