Season preview: Girls Tennis

High school tennis has changed in several ways since the peak of COVID-19. 

In-person school is now in session, fall sports are in full swing, and an increase in pre-season matches has allowed for more playing opportunities for the tennis team. Although COVID-19 guidelines are still being enforced, they are not as strict as they were during last year’s season.

“We can have spectators, and we have more preseason matches. Of course, we cannot get within six feet of the opposing team, as well as not being allowed to shake hands. With tennis being a sport where social distancing is attainable, there have not been many changes,” senior and varsity tennis team captain Ruby Van Cott said.

Games and clinics were the only contact the team had with each other last season, a total of 3 days a week. Now that students are able to be with each other everyday, it gives them a chance to create more team chemistry.

¨This season just started two weeks ago and I already feel much closer to my teammates than I did last year. Not only can I see them at school, but we also have more opportunities to hang out with each other, such as at practices, traveling to away games, team dinners, and other events outside of tennis. All of these things make this season feel more like a team sport, rather than an individual sport,¨ sophomore and varsity tennis player Michelle Jiang said. 

The previous coach, Carl Joyce, resigned mid-season, leaving a spot open for a new coach. Adam Nielson, who played college tennis, is serving his first year coaching the Oak Park girls tennis team.

“It has been pretty difficult so far to adjust mid-season, especially as a captain, to take the lead with helping the team, the new coach, the organization and layout of each game, but I think this season will turn out to be one of the best!” Van Cott said.