Girls’ tennis loses first match of season

By David Kolin

The girls’ tennis team lost to Palos Verdes last Thursday in its first game of the season, 13-5.

“It was our first match of the season, so we were experimenting with positions,” co-captain and singles player Melissa Gertler ’11 said.

Kristina Park ’13, who played singles last season, tried out the doubles position during the Palos Verdes match and won two out of three of her matches.

The loss was due to the reorganization of the players’ positions and the skill of the opposing team’s singles players, Gertler said.

“People who had close matches could have, had they been more experienced, pulled ahead,” Gertler said. “There were a few close matches but they could’ve gone either way. I believe that as the season progresses, matches like that will go in our favor.”

Only one freshman, Sophie Gunter ’14, made the varsity team this year. She will probably play second singles this season behind Savannah de Montesquieu ’13, who played number one singles for the team last year.

The other co-captains, Alanna Klein ’11 and Katherine Belgrad ’11, did not play in the match because they were both injured. They will both be back for today’s home match against Santa Barbara.

To start practices, the team stretches to minimize injuries.

To warm-up, they do ball drills and play mini tennis. For the remainder of the practice, they either drill or play matches against each other.

Singles players drill by practicing hitting within margins at certain places on the court. Doubles players must recognize the valuable asset that the doubles alleys provide, Gertler said.

They also try to avoid hitting to the net player in order to prevent the other team from winning an easy point.

“We look better now than we did last year,” Head Coach Chris Simpson said. “We’re ahead of the game by about a week or two as far as fitness, team identification, and skill level. That doesn’t mean we don’t have injuries. The nature is that we have injuries, and we do.”

The biggest match of the season will be tomorrow’s home match against Peninsula, Gertler said.

The match will be played at Studio City Golf and Tennis.

The team played a scrimmage against Beverly Hills, but the game was not scored.

“We should win [every league match] 16-2 and above,” Simpson said. “I’m just saying this realistically from looking at the players.”