Serves up

The inside scoop on West’s girls tennis team


Sarah Bernick

“It is important to become educated on the game. I played until I was a junior and so I just relied on my smarts and athletic ability. Somebody with more technique and who was more educated on how to hit the ball correctly ended up taking my varsity spot when I was senior,” science teacher and tennis coach Ian McCloud said. “I don’t ever want to see that happen again, and I know I have gotten a lot better when I know how to play the game correctly, so get educated.”

Sarah Bernick and Sophia Iniguez

Figuring out exactly what you want to join in high school can be nerve-racking, but also an exciting journey. It opens up opportunities, while challenging people to do activities they would never think of doing. West’s girls tennis team and coach give some tips on this active spring sport.

For many people, tennis is a fun way to stay active and have fun whether you’re a first year player or a returning player. Freshman Claire Westerhof was looking for a sport that she was comfortable with, but had room for improvement and to learn the proper techniques. Westerhof  found that tennis was a sport that helps her relieve stress while still being able to do something she enjoys.

“My favorite thing about tennis is getting to hang out with my friends and learn new skills, along with playing a new sport,” Westerhof said. “Personally I think this is a sport anyone can do because I just started playing.”

Sophomore Molly Daily is a returning varsity player who greatly appreciates the game. She explained how it can be intimidating playing singles during games and competing one-on-one against an opponent. She believes that playing doubles is more relaxed than singles because the players have another person there for support. Daily recommends tennis for anyone interested, keeping in mind the importance of practicing.

“Tennis can be as competitive or laid back as you want it to be,” Daily said. “The hardest thing about tennis is that it’s almost like a mental game because you’re the only one playing most of the time, but it’s easy because you get to have fun.”

Tennis is a sport that is taxing both physically and mentally, but only if an individual makes it so. People can be hesitant to play a sport like tennis, however, it can become a person’s passion if they give it a chance.

“I’ve seen people with zero athletic ability go out there and play tennis and have a blast for an hour and a half, and I haven’t met someone who has played tennis and hasn’t enjoyed it,” McCloud said. “I’ve also seen people who are really athletic or enjoy sports pick up a tennis racket and enjoy it.

A typical practice starts at 4:00 p.m. and ends around 5:30 p.m.. Varsity practices every weekday. JV practices specifically on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday with the meets usually on Tuesday and Thursday. Some extra benefits to tennis is that there are many times where the team gets to leave school early for a 4:00 meet at another school. There are also opportunities to play in the weekend tournaments where players get the chance to advance skills and play all day.

“I like the idea that tennis is so unique like you can play doubles with friends or if you just want to play by yourself and hit things, then you can do that too,” McCloud said. “I expect my team to show up, get better, improve, and have some fun.”