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The Oracle

The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

New coach, practice regimen for girls tennis helps team bond, improve

Rozie Gutierrez
The girls tennis team runs drills on the court at Glenhaven. The team has had a good turnout this year, with over 50 players signing up.

The girls tennis team is looking forward to a successful season this year, bolstered by a fresh practice regimen, a growing team and a new head coach. 

Senior captain Lucy Kniser is excited by how much the team has expanded since she joined her freshman year. When she started, there were only 13 people on the team.

“A lot of people are coming in to try [tennis] now even if they’ve never played before, and we’re a no-cut sport right now,” Kniser said. “Everybody gets the chance to play and the team is really big and it’s really grown and it’s really cool.”

Senior Zoe Stenstrom is one of the new members of the team this year. Though she took tennis lessons when she was younger, this is her first season playing for the school.

“I really like tennis, and I wish I joined earlier,” Stenstrom said.

Stenstrom explained that over the season, she and her doubles partner, first-year player and senior Sidrah Schramm, have been working to coordinate their playing styles. She thinks that overall, the team’s doubles partners have improved as well.

“I think we’ve grown a lot in that way,” Stenstrom said.

Some players have been practicing during the offseason, and Kniser believes it shows.

“I saw a ton of girls playing like the past few months outside with some of the boys from our school, too. There’s just a big group of people who come in the offseason and play together, and you can really see in practices how they interact with each other and how they’ve kind of created a bond from playing together at the school,” Kniser said.

This season, Heather Murray joined the girls tennis program as head coach.

“I am new to the team this year and I am excited to be part of it,” Murray said.

According to Murray, the team had a very large turnout this year, with around 55 students signing up. She said that it can be challenging to organize such a big group.

“Many of the players are brand new to tennis and are learning the basics while others have a lot of experience,” Murray said. “Not everyone will be able to compete, but they will learn how to play the game so they can enjoy tennis throughout their life.”

Murray commended the success and leadership of the players who have been on the team since their freshman year, particularly Kniser, Linah Nguyen, Amelia Stratton and Hadley Emerson. 

“They are a great help to me with motivating the team and keeping things fun for everyone,” Murray said.

This year, the team adopted a new practice regimen, where the practices are split by JV and varsity, rather than the boys and girls teams playing separately.

“Normally we just do girls, all teams, and boys, all teams, so we’re having all varsity players together and all JV players together and we’re all practicing mixed together,” Kniser said “So we’re playing with the boys too and stuff, so we’ll see how that switches our skill system.”

The team has fostered a positive dynamic, from practices to team bonding at the People’s Court.

“[The team is] pretty supportive and they’re uplifting,” senior Mai Nguyen said. 

Nguyen said she hopes that the team is able to win the majority of their matches. 

“I’m just hoping we win most of our games,” she said. 

With dedicated players and a supportive community, the girls tennis team is poised to take on the competition.

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Thisbe Delamarter, Online Editor
Thisbe Delamarter (she/her) is a senior who loves reading, learning and soccer. She loves journalism because she enjoys investigating and sharing new perspectives.

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