The tennis girls are back at it again, returning from a 5-15 season. The team has been working continuously for the past couple of months preparing for the season through their preseason conditioning, which consisted of cardio circuits, strength training, and footwork.
Photo Credit: Brianna Green
The tennis girls have been working tirelessly to be in the best shape in preparation for this season which officially began on Tuesday, April 2nd, against West Haven with an unfortunate loss. But, they came back with a vengeance in their next match on Thursday, April 4th beating Wilcox Tech 7-0. Six-year girls tennis coach, David Oshana, said, “The main goal for this season is to get the most wins we’ve ever had.” To accomplish this, Oshana said that everyone on the team will have to remember to stay positive and keep working hard even if they start to lose. Oshana said his favorite part of being the tennis coach is watching the girls progress throughout the season and the years. He has seniors now who started playing since their freshman year. He helped and watched as they developed into great players.
One of the challenges that Oshana mentioned for the season was making states. Qualifying for the state tournament means that the team will need to win half of the matches that they play. A single game of high school tennis consists of four singles matches and three doubles. To win the game, the team has to win the majority of the seven matches. In order to score points, the player must hit the ball within one bounce after being received by the opponent back over the net and within the court lines. Even though tennis is often considered an individual sport, the girls still need to work together and stay motivated to come out victorious.
Megan Povilaitis is a freshman on the girls tennis team this year and one of the seven new girls on the team. Megan has been playing tennis recreationally since she was three, but she felt that she was ready to progress to a more competitive style of play and joined the high school team. She said that she hopes being on the team will help her improve her serves and help her to get closer with her teammates. “The captains and other players are really nice and they show me and the other freshmen a lot of pointers,” said Megan. This positive and supportive environment helps the players to feel comfortable and helps them to improve their performance.
Senior captains Jenna Pane and Mikayla Raffone have both been playing since their freshman year of high school. They both have their own hopes for the team this season. Jenna said, “I hope to help my team make states by keeping them motivated throughout every match, start to finish.” Mikayla also hopes to help the team stay organized and focused on the main goal of the season as well as making sure everyone feels comfortable and welcome. Mikayla hopes to have the girls look up to her. She hopes, “That next year’s captain carry the team out just as well as it’s been for the last 4 years I’ve been on the team.” Both captains are proud of the team and hope that they will hold the same standards for the team as they currently do.
In the words of team mom, Michelle Roberts, “In my eyes, they always do well because they give it their all and they work well together as a team they are always helping and cheering each other on, they have amazing team spirit.” Go experience their team spirit for yourself, and go cheer them on at their matches. Their schedule can be found here on the East Haven Athletics website.