Girls tennis team focuses on goals: prepares for state tournament

Senior+Jaiden+Coylar+competing+in+a+singles-match+against+Highland+High+School+on+Thursday%2C+Apr.+15.+The+team%27s+rating+is+currently+10-3.

Saydria Ostler

Senior Jaiden Coylar competing in a singles-match against Highland High School on Thursday, Apr. 15. The team’s rating is currently 10-3.

The girl’s tennis team has been working to make it to the state playoffs; according to coach Keith Castillo, the team’s goal this season is “to make it to the second round of the state tournament at minimum. When we practice, we work on the things that the girls are weak on during their matches.” The girls are trying to play more horizontal and less vertical. Senior Ashley Welik [19-7] said, “Tennis is about out-smarting your opponents, not necessarily out-playing them, so we’re working on the out-smart part during practice.”

The girls are also working on individual goals. “One of my personal goals is to win 75% of my singles matches,” said Senior Campbell Bueler [17-9]. Welik echoed those sentiments, saying her goal for this season is “to win as many singles matches as I can. So far, I’ve only lost two, so I want to win the rest of them.” Sophomore Avery Jones [19-7] said, “I’m working on doubles and the placement of the ball.” In order to meet her goals, Jones continued, saying, “I focus on what I can work on, and I don’t mess around as much during practice.” 

The team was going undefeated, until they faced Hamilton on Thursday, Apr. 8th and lost 0-9. “We played our hardest; Hamilton’s just a good team,” said Bueler. The girls all agreed that Hamilton was a strong team. “We played really great against them; we did the best that we could, and that’s what matters,” said Senior Jaiden Colyar [17-7].  

Castillo said that the team has “a strong schedule,” playing 6 out of the 8 top teams in the division. “We beat Basha 5-4, and that was a really good win for us,” said Jones. According to the team, playing Basha was a proud win for them. During that first day, they had run out of light, so they had to sustain the match and revisit. In order to win, the girls had to win two of the three remaining matches; they were down in all three, but the team pulled through. “The girls stepped up and played wonderfully,” said Castillo. 

COVID has had an impact on the schedule, but has done little to impact the girls’ morale. “I felt sorry for the seniors last year, who had their season cut short,” said Castillo. The season was condensed, meaning they started playing two weeks later then they would have in a traditional season, with multiple matches per week. “This season has been a blast,” said Jones. Colyar also said, “I’m super excited about this season and trying to play my best, because I didn’t get to last year. I hope that this season can be the best one yet, and that we can do our best in state this year.”