Tennis Finds Success In Conference Play

Girls post a 5-5 conference and 7-10 overall record


Morgan Thomas, Staff Reporter

The girls’ varsity tennis season is about to meet its end, with an overall record of 6-9, and the girls are excited for their big conference match coming up after their last game against Knightdale. 

The team notched non-conference wins against Garner and Athens Drive, while defeating conference foes Knightdale, Rolesville and Wakefield. 

As the last match is coming up, the girls reflect on the best parts of their season, while also preparing for what comes next.

“The high point of the season has just been getting to know my teammates. They’re all really funny and cool, and it’s been a really fun season,” senior Emily Dickerson said.

The team has taken nine losses, and a loss can be hard to come back from as a team.

“Sometimes a few of us will go out and get ice cream and brush it off,” Dickerson said.

Playing in the 2, 3, 4 and 5 seed positions, Dickerson posted an 8-6 record. 

“We all understand that there are good and bad days in tennis, and we’re all a team and we understand it’s okay we lost, and we’re all pretty positive,” freshman Teagan Ruby said.

The girls find motivation through their efforts at practice after a loss.

“We put a lot of hard work in. We know if we work hard enough we can win. We encourage each other and give advice the day before the match. We don’t get down on ourselves,” Ruby said.

Playing in the formidable singles #1 seed position, Ruby notched a 6-9 overall record. 

The players also use the looming postseason as motivation. 

“I think we just gotta keep it up and don’t give up because it’s the last few matches and just play harder to go into the playoffs and be strong in the playoffs,” junior Parker Jarrell said.

This is the first COVID-19 free season for the team, and their schedule might look a little different from the years before.

“It seems pretty much the same but the season changed last year because of Covid, so it is like a different season kind of, but not much of it has changed,” Jarrell said.

Jarrell went 8-5 in the #2 singles slot for the team. 

For Dickerson, it is not the absence of COVID-19 that marks the season as different. 

“This season is pretty difficult cause there’s a lot of seniors,” Dickerson said. “For me specifically I have to deal with my hard classes, long tennis matches and applying to colleges. Last year it was just like classes and tennis matches.”

Jarrell, Dickerson, and Ruby had plenty of funny moments to reflect on from their season.

“We had our assistant coach take our BeReals on the bus. It was funny because he didn’t know how it works,” Ruby said.

“In practice when we were just messing around just hitting, and I was hitting with coach Lesh, and I accidentally hit him in the stomach,” Jarrell said.

They also had times to reflect on that they regret and wish things had gone differently.

“My biggest loss was against the girl at Wakefield cause I know I could’ve beat her. It was a close match and little mistakes I made gave her the win. I learned a lot from that match,” Ruby said.

Every team needs its motivators before a game or match, with senior Anna Kuga and freshman Emma Smith playing that role for the tennis team.

“Anna Kuga and Emma Smith, they’re both very supportive and always wishing you good luck and cheering you on when you’re playing,” Jarrell said.

 “Anna Kuga just because she’s really positive. It won’t necessarily be specific towards tennis, but she is always in a good mood, and she is always there,” Ruby said. “She’s helping us get focused and is very supportive of when we play our matches and is always very encouraging.”

Overall, the girls have many moments that they are proud of, and also many times where they experienced a loss that made them only want to work harder and motivate themselves. Ruby found that if she works harder, she can achieve her and the team’s goals.

“For me, I was going in expecting not to win a lot of matches because I’m a freshman. I was surprised by all the girls I played with and against. If I work hard enough, I can be able to beat them. There is a lot of motivation to show I need to work harder, and I will get the results I want,” Ruby said.