Media Production and Sports Editors
As the 2023-2024 tennis season is underway, the Los Gatos High School girls tennis team is eagerly preparing with passion and excitement led by new coach Justin Stenger. With their season in full swing, having already started gameplay, the team is making sure their physical and mental fitness is up to par.
Strenger is working with the Varsity team on a psychological approach to the sport, ensuring that their mental game is fortified. Senior Sophie Cuevas describes her high hopes for the new season, stating, “I think our new coach will definitely add a great aspect of mental strength.” Many of the other players, including sophomores Maya Swanson and Kayla Mitchell agree with this sentiment, commenting on how Stenger’s new approach is making them better, individually and as a collective unit.
However, mental strength is not the only key to success on the courts. Physical strength also plays a large role in the game of tennis, a fact that Strenger has made sure not to neglect. Swanson commented that they are not doing fitness, but instead playing “practice matches against each other and some tennis drills.” Well prepared for their first match, the varsity team beat Palo Alto 4 to 3 on Sept. 12. Along with Strenger, the two varsity captains, Nitya Jhamb and Yasmina Ikkawi are leading the team to victory. Guiding the Junior Varsity team are sophomores Autumn Wadhwa and Chesle Bae.
Recently, the team moved up into a more challenging league, posing a daunting challenge: playing unknown and better opponents. However, Mitchell takes a positive approach to the challenge saying, “It’s fun to test your level.” Wadhwa agrees with this sentiment saying that she is “ready to take on the heat.”
For many of the girls who play club tennis, school tennis is their only opportunity to play on a team, due to the sport’s individual-based nature. Because of the everchanging roster, absences of seniors, and new influx of freshmen, the team must constantly learn to play with new people. Adaptation is essential particularly in doubles, an aspect of the game where two players compete in a match together. This has not proved a daunting challenge, as the team has quickly become a tight knit community on and off the court, and “bonding with each other daily,” says Swanson.
The past games include matches against Mountain View on Sep. 19th, Cupertino on the 21st, Evergreen Valley on the 25th, and various other schools in the De Anza division. Support the Los Gatos Girls Tennis team this year by attending their matches and wishing them all good luck this season!