The tennis Lady Lancers faced tough competitors throughout the season, and with their recent victory against Sonora High School and a loss against Troy High School, they concluded the fall sports season with optimism and determination.
Before facing Sonora High School with high expectations, girls tennis huddled up for one more pregame celebration on Oct. 18 as it finished off with a 16-2 win.
With the team previously matching 9-9 against Troy High School on Oct. 11, which has not been accomplished in seven years, it ultimately lost through a game score of 64-78. However, the Lancers came back to win their last match and ended in second place with a 7-3 Freeway League record.
With the team already beginning their league playoffs on Oct. 25, girls tennis head coach Madeline Heer recognized improvement within her players in the coach’s second year guiding the ladies.
“The first time we played [Troy High School on Sept. 27] was a pretty rough match for us,” Heer said. “But I told the girls my goal for our season was to do better against every team the second time around, and the girls really pulled through on that to improve on every match they played.”
Although the team started off the season with three consecutive wins, they had to take necessary steps during practices to retain their streak of victories, doubles player junior Emily Kim said.
“We focused a lot on our fundamental skills, such as forehand, backhand and serves, along with match play and footwork to help prepare ourselves for the next games,” Kim said. “If we follow the way we practice and play right now, I think we can make it very far in the league playoffs.”
The team’s close loss against Troy gave the Lady Lancers more determination to finish the season strong, No. 3 doubles player and co-captain senior Sabrina Chow said.
“After being able to keep up with them until the last round, it made me feel like we had more potential than what we already had — not that I didn’t have high hopes,” Chow said. “But now, I feel like they’re just [like] any other opponent we have already faced before.”
The team had a strong mindset to confidently play with the best of its abilities, as well as cooperating and creating chemistry, said No. 1 doubles player and co-captain senior and Ximena Pacheco.
“I’ve dedicated so much time and effort these past four years, and I’ve grown so close to all of my teammates and my coach,” Pacheco said. “Communicating with other co-captains throughout the season prepared us more for matches and helped us show our teammates’ [skills] during practices.”