Game, set, match


Photo provided by: Veronica Picart

Unlike years prior, the ability for tennis players to receive instruction and practice before the start of the tennis season was lessened because of the onslaught of restrictions regarding COVID-19. Sophomore Delaney Taylor on the girls’ varsity tennis team has felt the effects firsthand, but found a way to improve and compete with the competition. “Last week we won both of our doubles and singles games,” Taylor said. I believe the doubles score was eight to one and the singles score was eight to two.”

Makayla Martindale, Staff Reporter

The girls’ varsity tennis team started the season strong by exceeding expectations against their competition. On Thursday, Feb. 25, the team competed against Lake Howell High School, and was successful in winning multiple matches. Despite the difficulties that this year has presented, the girls tennis has remained triumphant. 

“This season I wasn’t able to do much to prepare because of COVID-19, so I did as much as I could,” sophomore Delaney Taylor said. “Sometimes I played down at the courts that I have in my neighborhood and took a few private lessons with the coach that I have, just to prepare for the season and get ready for facing other schools.”

Five players are selected from the team to play against other schools each week. The placement of these players were thoroughly thought over by the coach, Frank Gooch. The players’ placement on the team determines the number of games each girl plays and the level of competition they face. 

“On the team I am number four, which means that I play in line two doubles and number four singles,” Taylor said. “I tried as much as I could to prepare to play this season because it is a competition to get on the top five lineup and last year I was number five, so my motivation was to move up in the lineup. I wanted to be number four and it was great because I was able to do that and make my goal.”

The girls performed well against the Lake Howell High School tennis team, as many of them won their matches. Junior Daniela Peña played a doubles match with junior Katiana Arciniegas and defeated the Lake Howell doubles team seven to one after a tiebreaker.

“I think the most significant play was our last game point because it determined if we were going to lose the match or keep going and win,” Peña said. “I was also the player serving the ball, which was significant because if I were to mess up on my serves, we would have had a higher chance of losing.”

Tennis is unique, as it can be played either individually or as a team. Many players find that the addition of a partner during a doubles match adds to the enjoyment of playing the game, but that opinion is not shared by all. 

“Personally I prefer singles over doubles because I don’t like the pressure of having someone else depend on me, like you do in doubles,” Taylor said.  “I also don’t like the feeling of letting someone down if I wasn’t playing my best that day, but I do enjoy having doubles as a warm-up because we play doubles first and then we go into singles. I like that I get to warm up with my partner and have some fun before I go into the more serious competition of one-on-one in singles.”