Girls tennis vs. Dundee-Crown: positivity wins the match

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Freshman Kate Burkey and junior Emily Chong celebrate with a ‘racket tap’ after scoring a particularly difficult point against Dundee-Crown. (A. Wiley)

Angel Wiley

Senior Michelle Chan subconsciously lines her feet up to the base line as she has done millions of times. She tosses the ball, rocks onto her back foot, and follows through with a strong serve to start the match.

Both she and her partner senior Kareena Patel played together against Dundee-Crown High School on Sept. 28, working like a well-oiled machine and making strong passes by following through with each swing of their rackets. On the surface it seems the duo went into the match with a no-funny-business mindset, yet everyone still found time to enjoy themselves on the courts.

This is the 19th match of the varsity girls tennis season, but even in previous seasons, Dundee-Crown has been an opponent that is not easily beaten. The players have built up their skills and very strong bonds over time to work together and give each other the support they need to win. 

“Statistically we are at the advantage against Dundee, but we should never lose respect for our opponents and play hard regardless,” coach Barry Wells said.

Including their 7-0 win against Dundee, the team has won 14 matches. One of the reasons for their success is that many go outside of the school for practice in the off-season and build their friendships there too. 

“We’ve also played together during [the] off-season. It improved our school and our partnership a lot. Especially after COVID-19 affected our practices,” Patel said.

Of the varsity tennis players, more than half are finishing their last season. Despite this, they work together with their other teammates to make it the best season yet, not just score-wise but also with their mindset. They work hard and keep a positive attitude to make it through even when the score may not be in their favor.

 “Since it’s our last year, the most important part is to have fun,” Chan said.

The varsity tennis players really do make for a welcoming and hardworking team: the key to their success.