Girls Varsity Tennis Defends Multiple Titles


Pete Assakul ’18

Savannah Roberts ’19 serves in a match against Sacred Heart.

The girls on the Varsity Tennis Team may be the defending New England Champions, but they are not letting last year’s success make them complacent.
Co-Captains Savannah Roberts ’19 and Ginny Barnes ’19 have said that another New England Title would be fantastic, but that their main focus is to defend their Founders League Title and qualify for the New England Tournament.
The team has identified a renewed focus on fitness as a key factor in setting it apart from other teams. Players have started a workout regiment designed by the new strength and conditioning coach, Brodie Quinn ’10, to improve overall performance and stamina. Head Coach Mr. Jackson Marvel feels that these workouts are “something that a lot of [other] teams [we play against] are not doing.”
The team is slightly smaller than it has been in past years, with a roster of only seven as opposed to the usual eight to ten. Marvel says that he likes to have a very closely-bonded team and that this size furthers that goal.
The team has created a close-knit group through team dinners and other fun activities, such as baking cookies together. The players hope their strong bonds will push their play over the top against formidable opponents such as Andover and Deerfield.
Last year, Andover was the final competitor that the girls overcame to become New England Champions. Andover’s team finished last year with an undefeated regular season record, including a tight 5-4 win against Hotchkiss, to whom they ended up succumbing in the New England Finals.
Deerfield should also prove a strong competitor this year. Their team is coming off of a 7-4 record, with three of their four losses against Hotchkiss and Andover.
Some teams might crack under the pressure of past success, but Marvel is trying to avoid a “repeat-or-bust” mentality. He said, “We’ve had a lot of successful seasons in the past that [didn’t] end in New England Titles.”
The start of the season has already been less than ideal, with the team falling to Sacred Heart 3-6, after sweeping that same team 9-0 last year.
This is not to say the conditions were anything like last year’s matchup. After a top player fell sick the day of the match, all the players below her had to move up in their match-ups. This caused most players to have tougher opponents than usual. To compound that, the wind was very strong, compromising the consistency of serves. With half the matches going into tiebreakers, many players felt the scores were not indicative of the effort they put in.
Though the team may not be off to the same explosive five-game wining streak of last year’s season, players remain confident that the team is on the right track.
The next game will take place on Saturday, April 13, at Choate Rosemary Hall.