Stoked to Serve


It is late in the day. The sun blazes overhead. Underneath it, on the pavement stands a group of girls on either side of a net, confidently hitting a ball back and forth with the rackets in their hands. After practice, they will take long gulps from their water bottles, wipe the perspiration from their foreheads and head to the locker rooms to shower and go home for the day, ready to start the same routine over again tomorrow.

The girls’ tennis team practices every day after school, where the upper-level teams have games every Friday, and this helps them to grow closer together as both friends and teammates. The freshman team has yet to have a game, but daily practices help them strengthen their relationships all the same. Because of their close relationships, the girls are ready for another season of daily practice and bonding.

“I really like the team,” freshman Maria Lopez said. “I like playing tennis with my friends and competing together.”

Tournaments can be a challenging thing, but the girls’ tennis team doesn’t think of them this way; instead, they think of them as positive attributes towards the team.

“I’ve never played with the team before since I’m a freshman, but I’m looking forward to all the tournaments and matches ahead of us,” freshman Leanne Manuka said.

Even though tournaments can often boost a team’s spirits, sometimes they can also have the opposite effect.

“I struggle with being down because of a loss,” sophomore Laura Lopez said. “It’s definitely hard learning to be a team player and support your teammates when something like that happens.”

Despite their losses, the team still finds things to appreciate about their sport.

“The best part of the team is the players. I was so blessed this year with awesome, dedicated players.” Coach Morgan McLaughlin said.

The girls’ tennis team is definitely ready for another season. When the girls spend so much time together through practice, matches and tournaments, they can grow closer and closer as a team. Their constant time with each other might also help them to grow and support one another, even in the wake of a loss.

“My favorite part about the tennis team is that you’ll always feel loved,” Manuka said. “We are all family here.”