Girl’s tennis is currently in season. Players have been working hard to earn their placement on the team ladder. This ladder, which ranks the girls’ playing abilities, will decide whether or not these players will be participating in scrimmages and tournaments, as well as determining their opponents. UHS News spoke with the coach as well as two players to find out more about how they are preparing for matches.
The first step to preparing for scrimmages and tournaments is determining the ladder. According to Coach Brian Brown, “We are having a lot of intrasquad matches to see who’s going to be playing.” The ladder, made up of four singles and three doubles, is not chosen by the coach. Coach Brown explained, “I don’t choose where those people are…They have to earn those spots.”
Coach Brown believes the team is prepared for upcoming scrimmages and tournaments. He said, “Ukiah girls compete well and they get along well, so they make each other better through practice.” He added, “We also have a lot of seniors too, so they know what to do, they come to play, and they know what to expect.” However, in developing the team’s collective abilities, he explained that he will be focusing on coaching players on their “Techniques, strokes, and things like that.”
The players have been working tirelessly to hone their tennis skills. Beatrix Holstein, a tennis player of over four years, had this to say about preparing for scrimmages and tournaments: “We’ve got our hour and a half practices every day.” She added, “We can also come out and play over the weekend for some extra practice.”
Neilyn Alvarez, a first-year tennis player, said this: “I try to practice as much as I can, although I don’t participate in tournaments because I’ve just started.”
In preparation for the season, Holstein would like to perfect her playing abilities. In terms of what she needs to work on most, she said, “For me, I definitely feel like I need to work on the consistency of my serving but other than that, I have a solid forehand.” She later remarked, “Of course, I could also work harder on doing those angled shots to get the point.”
Alvarez felt similarly to Holstein, wanting to improve. She said, “I need to work on my technique because I don’t quite have it down yet.” She later added to this, saying, “I really want to just improve as much as I can. I’m not very good at tennis but I enjoy it a lot and I want to get better at it!”
Looking ahead at the 2021 Season, Holstein said, “We’ve got a huge team, lots of fun girls, and I think it’s going to be a really fun season.”