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Serving with determination, making racquet

As players continue to volley back and forth at a rapid pace, there’s not a lot of down time during a tennis match. Competitors must stay on their toes in a sport where reaction and anticipation mean everything.

Tennis also provides an opportunity for students to have a release from the average school day by allowing them to step onto the court and channel their energy elsewhere.

“Being able to just hit the ball as hard as I can; just going out there and being good at something [is the best part of tennis],” senior Shawn Greinert said. “You don’t have to sit in the classroom, you don’t have to think about everything; you just go out there and play. It’s enjoyable.”

The sport appears to have noticeable influence on the students when they step on to the court and develop a competitive spirit.

“Tennis has influenced me by making me a more competitive person, because normally I’m like this sweet little nice girl who never says anything bad about anybody and when I get on the court, [I become] a completely different person,” senior Kayla Seigert said.

In preparation for district, the tennis team goes through a variety of training methods to better their playing abilities.

“We do various drills and play matches, and usually have games on Friday,” Greinert said. “During the season, though, it’s just really aimed at getting better for district.”

Even though many players start off playing for power, they soon learn that tennis is a game of finesse.

“[The most difficult part for student athletes is] understanding that you don’t have to hit the ball hard to win a point; [they just] have to be able to keep the ball in play,” Coach Randy Stewart said.

Even though the fall season didn’t go as well as the team would have hoped, it should act as a great foundation for the spring.

“We ended up tying for fourth at district,” Stewart said.

Already, students are considering how upcoming competitions may or may not turn out, depending on the skill of the players.

“My prediction is that our team will have a lot of fun, and the upper classmen will probably do better than the underclassmen just because they have more experience and have been on varsity longer,” Seigert said.

Hopefully, for any upcoming seasons, the students will gain a better understanding of what ‘school spirit’ really is.

“The main thing they need to do is to go out and do more on their own; playing only for the school and only for school matches and only for school practice. Just to get them to understand why they’re trying to play like they are,” Stewart said.

Students needing more information about joining the team next year can contact Coach Stewart or talk to members of the tennis team.

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