Girls tennis sports high ranking in State, work to capture elusive State title


Elle Ryan

Senior captain Paige McLeod returns the ball to her teammate in a recent practice at Aquila Park.

With the addition of five new players and a new headcoach, the BSM girls tennis team has started the season off strong with only one loss.  Led by Paige & Taylor McLeod, Abby Moroz,
and Heather Mostrom, the girls are
striving for a great season.

After the loss of three seniors, the team sees experience showing from the veteran players.  “Our top returning varsity players came back stronger than ever!” McLeod said.

They also have a new coach, Kevin Rust who keeps them focused and helps them excel at their game. Other than the coach the captains are also a key component for leadership. The four captains say they try to be role models, encourage everyone, keep them focused, and “it is important to lead by example,” McLeod said.

In the offseason most of the players train for the season by playing in tournaments, having private lessons, or doing conditioning.  Also during the season the girls have practice if there isn’t a match that day.  Their practices consist of playing out points using singles and doubles strategies, as well as training as well.  “There is a lot of running and occasional conditioning if the coach is feeling it,” Moroz said.

All of the work put into practice has definitely showed in the team’s matches.  “Everyone is doing very well and playing 100% all the time,” says Moroz.  They have started with a lot of competitive matches already, but Moroz says that their biggest competition will be Edina. Though the harder competition will come along for the team if they make it to State. As of now the team is ranked #4 in the State.

The team has many lofty but achievable goals for the season, which they will achieve by working together as a team but also earning points individually.  “Our team goals are to continue to get better, work harder, and play smarter.” Moroz said.  “We want to work as hard as possible to make each other better players and make it to state.

As sections soon await the team, they have already started preparing for these postseason matches with lots of practices and matches.  Though as they get closer to Sections the team will need to improve everyday and stay focused in matches.  “The team needs to take it one match at a time,” McLeod said.

The team bond is made stronger through different things throughout the season.  They started the season off by going to Yum! the first Friday after tryouts week, which is an unofficial favorite restaurant of the team, according to Paige and Taylor.  Soon after that they did a carwash fundraiser as a team, which is a fun way to spend time together.  Also after tryouts all returning players went to the new player’s homes, throwing tennis balls and putting signs on the player’s yards.