Girls’ Tennis is on Their Way to Another Successful Season

Emily Roberts

With an 8-2 record so far and lots of tough competition to look forward to, the girls’ varsity tennis team is on the right path for a very successful season. After a recent disappointing loss to Providence Academy, the girls held their heads high in order to pull off a 7-0 victory against Chisago Lakes the following night. This season the girls have already had five shutouts and are expected to repeat their success again in many of their upcoming matches.
The tennis team was aware Providence was going to be a tough team to beat. Coach Dave Wolden decided to change the lineup with a goal to catch Providence off guard. He moved the team’s strongest plays down in the lineup in order to increase their chances of a win. “[Dave] is very honest when it comes to how we’ve played, and we know he is very knowledgeable about the game of tennis,” said junior Elizabeth Graven. Although the team suffered a loss, the match was well fought and everyone played extremely well.
Hopkins has also been known for having a very strong and high-performance team. Last year, the Red Knights lost to Hopkins, but fortunately Hopkins happened to lose many seniors from the previous year, leaving them with not as strong of a team as in the past. Although, the girls realized Hopkins would still not be an easy win. Graven was unable to play in this match because she was out with a back injury, which caused another change in the lineup. It was indeed a successful change as other team members stepped up to fill in for the loss, and the girls beat Hopkins 5-2.
Besides the win verses Hopkins, the girls have been continuing to bring home victories against a lot more of their high competitors including Totino-Grace, St. Francis, Columbia Heights and North Branch. “Our key to success is how we all get along really well; it all works out better this way,” said senior Jalyn Durkin. Durkin is captain along with senior Kelsey Daley, who both have taken on leadership roles very well, making their season so far successful.

Team spirit is a very important aspect to the girls’ tennis team, keeping them bonded, supporting of one another and in tune with each other as they face challenging competition. Some things they do before and during matches, is cheer and high-five each other between sets and have team dinners, similar to many other sports teams. “We always say a cheer before every match to get us pumped up. We also have lots of Saturday night team pasta dinners,” said junior Haley Hickok. As part of their team bonding experience, the girls are making a 25 foot long blanket so they can stay warm while cheering for the rest of their teammates.

Durkin says the highlight of the season so far has been their wins against Eden Prairie and Hopkins. Eden Prairie is another team that they have lost to in the past and the win brought much excitement and confidence to the Red Knights. The numerous shutouts have also been one of Durkin’s proudest moments for herself and the team so far this season. With the season well on its way, the girls have definitely proven that they are going to be a tough team to beat.