The Student News Site of Souderton Area High School

The Arrowhead

The Arrowhead

The Student News Site of Souderton Area High School

The Arrowhead

The Student News Site of Souderton Area High School

The Arrowhead

The Arrowhead

Spike in interest builds relationships for girls tennis

Integrating a second junior varsity team, the girl’s tennis team has had to overcome challenges due to a substantial increase in players.
Serving...Setting+up+the+practice+nets%2C+%28from+left%29+freshmen+Evelyn+Le%2C+Jill+Wexler+and+Sammie+Waehner+get+ready+to+run+drills.+JV+white+team+members+train+between+matches.
Kendal Hoover
Serving…Setting up the practice nets, (from left) freshmen Evelyn Le, Jill Wexler and Sammie Waehner get ready to run drills. JV white team members train between matches.

With 50 athletes this year, the girls tennis team has had to incorporate a second junior varsity team because of the sudden rise in interest.
The new JV team, named JV White, has had their practices somewhat isolated from the two other teams due to the lack of courts.
Girls tennis coach Josh Myers said he doesn’t know exactly why there was such a large group of incoming freshmen this year. He believes it had a big effect on how they were able to set up each practice, but not in the relationship aspect.
“You put 50 people in any situation, working together, it’s difficult. But I think the team does a great job and I think coming from the freshman to the seniors, the team does a great job of coming together for common goals.” Myers said.
With the incorporation of girls tennis third coach Leah Smith, there has been more control over JV White’s practices and how time is spent during them.
Freshman Ava Tabernilla believes this was a great addition for the new players.
“I feel like with the new coach, it’s easier to handle than if we were all combined with one coach,” Tabernilla said. “Everyone gets a good amount of attention.”
Many school sports teams decide to make cuts before their season starts.
Myers does not believe making cuts would have been the best option, even if that meant having 50 athletes come to every practice.
“I wasn’t sure about a lot of my fellow coaches saying that keeping around 50 [junior varsity players] was a little ambitious, but I’m happy I did,” Myers said.
According to Myers, not cutting all of the new freshmen would let them figure out if tennis is or isn’t for them.
“I hope people get the desire and drive to continue and get better during the off-season. On the flip side, maybe some people figured out that tennis isn’t for them, which is okay, too,” Myers said, “but, I would say, 98% of the team being super into their matches was a very valuable experience.”
JV captain Anna Stratton had the same opinion.
“I think it’s good that they kept everyone to help keep the team vibrant and alive,” Stratton said, “but with keeping all of these girls does come challenges.”
According to Stratton, because the new JV team has had most of their practices separated, it has been challenging to make connections with other players.
Tabernilla said upperclassmen have done a good job of creating a welcoming environment for the new tennis players, and she has made many new friends in the process.

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Kendal Hoover, Staff Writer

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