The girls varsity tennis team is back in action after having their season cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Warriors are looking forward to stepping on the court for the first time since 2019. This season will be different from any other with covid protocols and limited fans. The team doesn’t want this to affect them and Sophomore Jocelyn Healy Doesnt think it will.
“Since the season was cancelled last year, I don’t think it will necessarily play a big role in this season because we are all just trying to focus on what we can do as a team to make this season count,” Healy said.
The Warriors only have one senior in Anna Schmillen, but they have many second-year players including five juniors. Clare Bonnett, Lina Jouvenat, Katy Terry, Ballie Hoig and Olivia Villotta all are returning to the team this year. With the Warriors only having one senior, it puts pressure not only on the younger players to step up, but also on Schmillen who has to play a leadership role. Schmillen said this season will be a little different than any other.
“I have been on varsity since my freshman year so it’s a little unusual this year that I am the only senior since the past years that I have played there were usually more seniors, but this season is more special because it’s my senior year,” Schmillen said.
With the girls tennis team being young all around, and many of them not playing in over two years, and some of them never playing in a varsity tennis match, there are still some worries coming into a brand new season. Head coach Jordane Warkentin said that the team will have some inexperienced players at both levels but is confident
“ Losing last year was really tough. If players weren’t playing in the off-season, they haven’t played a match in almost two years. None of our sophomores have ever played a high school match. Our entire JV program had never played a high school match until our dual against Marian. We knew there was going to be a lot of inexperience, but we’re confident that the girls would be able to overcome their nerves. Each player has improved from one match to the next so that has been really great for team morale,” Warkentine said.
The girls look to come out of the gate strong and stay hot throughout the season. The team has sent many goals for this season, including having a good run not just as individuals but as a team in the metro and state tournament. Warkentine has some big goals for the team this season.
“Some of the goals for the team this season are to get better at every single practice, and get a medal at metros and to break the top ten at state,” Warkentine said.
Schmillen expressed the advantages she feels the team gets when playing on their home court, as she thinks it helps players relax and play better on the courts they practice on everyday.
“ I think that having home matches is beneficial for the team, and being able to play on the courts you play on everyday for practice helps the player. I think it also helps us stay relaxed,” Schmillen said.
The Westside girls tennis team will be back in action on April 15th, playing in the Kearney invitational.