Team set to defend seventh straight title

Aaron Lyons

While the girls’ tennis team went undefeated in league last season, it lost in the second round of CIF playoffs and ended its winning season early. This season, with its seventh straight Mission League title under its belt and an 11-0 League record, the girls’ varsity tennis squad is back and ready to continue its undefeated league record into playoffs.

To ensure a longer season, program head Chris Simpson has the team working with the boys’ tennis head coach Robert Bo Hardt, who helped foster CIF Champion Michael Genender ’15 last season.

“We have started using the boys varsity tennis coach,” co-captain Paige Moelis ’15 said. “He has been really great making us focus more on conditioning and drilling.”

“This season I hope to be more consistent and improve my plays,” Rebecca Li ’15 said. “In addition I’d like to work on my weaker shots like volleys and my slices.”

The Wolverines plan to combat the individualistic nature of the sport by emphasizing teamwork in practice and participating in bonding events off the court.

While many players like Li have just started up training with the team again, many of the players have been attending training camps and clinics throughout the summer.

Teamwork is especially important to the team dynamic after all the players have been training individually all summer, according to Moelis. The Wolverines exited early from the 2013 season with an 11-7 loss against Los Alamitos in the second round of CIF Playoffs giving them an overall record of 14-3. The team’s strength lies with its experienced captains and four-year varsity players Moelis ’15 and Arin Schwimmer ’15. Returning underclassmen to watch are Jenna Moustafa ’17 and Lara Mikhail ’18.

To challenge its biggest rivals Santa Barbara, Peninsula and Palos Verdes, the team looks to its leading doubles partners Schwimmer and Moelis and Marissa Karo ’16, Joelle Choi ’17 and Juliana Simon ’16 who will rotate to form another strong doubles squad. Standout singles players include Moustafa, Mikhail and Sophie Cohen ’18

“I think I speak for the team when I say that our goal is to make it to the CIF playoffs and, hopefully, win,” Moelis said.

The team scrimmaged Beverly Hills at Los Angeles Valley College Sept. 2 and will have its first League game against Palos Verdes High School Sept. 9.