Fall Sports Preview 2019: Girls’ Tennis
Matt Smith | Sports Writer
|09/06||vs. Columbus Academy|
|09/23||vs. Indian Hill|
|09/24||vs. Saint Ursula|
The Mason Girls tennis team doesn’t plan to stop serving up dominant seasons this year.
Coming off of back-to-back state championships, the pressure is on for the program to continue dominating the state of Ohio yet again.
Already 5-0, the team hopes that this quick start will propel them to their third straight state championship and 5th straight Greater Miami Conference title.
Senior Sanjana Reddy said that they know it won’t be easy, but they believe that a three-peat at state is well within reach.
“We have high expectations for the year, but we know a lot of teams are going to try and challenge us,” Reddy said. “We’ve had a great start to our season the past two years, so we knew if we wanted to win state again, we needed a strong start this year too, and we feel like we have done that.”
Having a target on their back has inevitably led to mixed reactions from the team. Some see it as a confidence builder, and others see it as pressure. Senior Ananya Aggarwal, who plays first singles, said that when every team wants to beat Mason, it can make her uneasy, but at the same time it says a lot about the Mason tennis program.
“In our opinion, we are the team to beat in Ohio. Everyone wants to win whenever they play against Mason, and it can be a little scary when (other teams) play us with nothing to lose,” Aggarwal said. “At the same time, though, it’s reassuring to know that other teams need to come through us if they want to win state.”
The team knows that talent alone doesn’t win matches and championships, it takes practice and repetition too. Working hard everyday to refine their skills is a daily goal for the players, and Reddy said that she can see this mindset whenever the team steps on the court.
“As seniors, we try to show the underclassmen how to work on their game and try to get better whenever we practice,” Reddy said. “We try to stay focused and work hard because we know that is the only way we will reach our goals.”
Practice can also bring out the athletes’ competitive edge.For Aggarwal and Reddy, it’s chance to compete and outperform one another. Reddy said that being close friends with Aggarwal brings out her competitive side as she wants to win every time they go head to head, while also setting an example for her younger teammates.
“Whenever I am playing, I try to have fun and enjoy the game,” Reddy said. “But at the same time when (Ananya and I) hit with each other I always want to be better than her. At the same time both of us are improving as players too.”
At the end of the day, the team wants success, but to enjoy the process as well. Reid has attempted to establish a culture that does more for his team in life than just learning how to hit a tennis ball. Aggrawal said that he strives to set up everyone on the team for life after tennis.
“Coach Reid focuses a lot on making sure everyone feels like they are apart of the team and contributing to something great,” Aggarwal said. “We’ve learned a lot that will help us be successful, not only in tennis, but life in general.”
Photo by Chronicle Staff.