Max Stahl, staff writer
Girls’ varsity tennis has turned its focus to its match with Santa Monica on Oct. 9 after a loss to Inglewood in its first league match on Sept. 27.
“Basically, Santa Monica is the strongest team in our league, and they have been for a few years,” varsity coach Mike Margolin said.
Although originally slotted to play against Santa Monica on Oct. 2 and Culver City on Oct. 4, the team played no matches this week due to a schedule change. Instead, the players continued practice as they normally would.
The team holds a 2-4 record this season, with wins against Marlborough and Palisades. Margolin is satisfied with the players’ performance thus far, but he sees room for improvement.
“For the most part I think they have [played to expectations],” Margolin said. “We’ve been working on some things from the beginning of the season that have challenged the girls, and we’ve been focused on those aspects a bit harder than in past years, but it’s an ongoing process, and they’re coming along.”
Captain Allison Isaacman has a similar opinion.
“I feel like we have made a lot of progress. We started out with a few losses, but then we really turned it around and won the last few matches. We have been working really hard every day. I have a feeling we’re going to have a great rest of the season,” she said.
Margolin’s goals for the team include a stronger performance than that of last year and, beyond that, an Ocean League championship and a CIF playoff appearance.
During practice Margolin has focused the team on doubles, leading the players in several drills to help them improve their game.
“I think the girls are just beginning to understand the kind of doubles that they need to play, and they’re putting it into their matches,” Margolin said.
This year’s team features a few key roster changes from last year. Two freshmen, Martina Bocchi and Katarina Stefanovic, have successfully made the jump to the varsity squad, and Isaacman has returned from a knee injury that kept her on the bench all last season.
“I am so happy to be back,” Isaacman said. “I have really enjoyed playing this season, especially after being gone for a whole season.”
Margolin is also optimistic about this year’s roster.
“I think our potential is greater this year,” Margolin said. “It’s a matter of getting some of the new players enough experience by the end of the season, but they’re performing really well right now. I think it’s a matter of getting our doubles a little bit stronger, and then I think potentially we can end up being a little bit stronger than we were last year.”