ADHS Women’s tennis team looks to improve from last season

Sean Herbst, Online Sports Reporter

This year’s Athens Drive Women’s Tennis team is coached by Melissa Hunt, a science teacher here at ADHS. 2018’s squad is composed of athletes grades 10-12, who are aspiring tennis players. As a team, they compete to against both in conference and out of conference school to improve their record and skill level.

Although their record is 1-8, personal improvement seems to be the main goal for this year’s players. The team practices as often as they can, to improve their players and team in general. According to a new study out of Rice University, Princeton University and Michigan State University, practice will not make you perfect, it will usually make you better at what you’re practicing.

“We practice every day that we don’t have matches, so it could be up to five times a week,” said Olivia Cassidy, sophomore.

Hunt runs to benefit the players in the best way possible. Players are able to compete in friendly matches against teammates in both single (one player competing against one competitor) and double (two teammates competing against two others) matches.

“At practice we usually start with our warm ups and we usually do ladder drills. Then we move in to hitting, stations on different courts, and then practice single and double matches,” said Cassidy.

ADHS women’s tennis began workouts during mid-summer, although their season mostly occurs over the course of fall. Practices began on August 1, and continue until early October. Over the course of the season, athletes play in many different matches including singles and doubles.

“Workouts begin over the summer so that players can learn the rules to tennis if need be, and so that I can teach them new techniques. Also, I mostly decide on the ladder of players before the season starts, so it benefits them for me to know who they are and their talent level while making it,” said Hunt.

Per match,  Hunt has to make the decision of deciding whether the girls will play in single matches or doubles. Choices on positioning depend on the athletes performance against their own teammates during the week and in the past. Matches are decided by adding up which school has won the most single and double matches.

“To determine what  ranking they get, I have my players play against each other, and depending on the results of these matches, I rank them 1-6. Athletes 1-6 compete in single matches, and the rest either compete in double matches or exhibition matches,” said Hunt.

Some girls on ADHS tennis have been playing tennis for a long time. Club tennis for the girls can lead them to tournaments in different states. Generally, the farther they progress through tournaments, the farther tennis players have to travel to find competition and compete in tournaments.

“The farthest I’ve traveled for club tennis was Auburn, Alabama. I competed in sectionals there,” said Cassidy.

“The atmosphere is really encouraging. I feel like we support each other really well and it’s always helpful too cheering from them during matches,” said Cassidy.