GREAT FORM! Freshman singles 1 Anna Hashimoto completes a graceful return.
Photo: Kylie Cheng
By Kylie Cheng
The PHHS Girls Tennis team won 5-2 against Westmont this Wednesday in its last game of the season, closing with a season record of 9-5.
The team has developed throughout the season despite facing challenges. Without someone possessing a tennis-coaching license to lead practice, the girls have had to take improvement upon themselves through daily training and their own hard work.
“We did have a rocky start,” recalls Co-captain Kelly Chau, “especially since we lost a lot of varsity members last year, but generally we’ve been doing very well, and our girls have improved a lot.”
By analyzing one another’s performances in games, they pinpointed weak points and assessed them during practices. Meanwhile, Coaches Bryce Itatani and Alonso Martinez would assist the team with various drills. The team’s confidence grew as they progressed through games.
“This year we’ve been really grinding on trying to get our JV and everybody up to par with varsity, so we’ve been working them a lot harder,” Chau explains.
“We’ve been going out to practice and just working hard at every practice no matter what, and trying our best at every away match and home game, so that really helps,” states Co-captain Tiffany Nguyen.
Looking forward, the team remains eager to continue honing its skills for the upcoming BVAL (Blossom Valley Athletic League) Team Tournament for CCS (Central Coast Section) Qualifying next Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
“Even though we (had) a lot of setbacks this season, everyone’s really been trying their best and staying dedicated,” Nguyen expresses, “and that really makes me happy.”
Through their victories and their struggles, the girls maintain close-knit unity and high spirits.
“I think the best quality that this team has is how together they are and how much they get along with each other,” comments Coach Itatani.
“Their sportsmanship and their teamwork is unlike any other team,” praises Chau. “We’re literally like a family.”