Sam Bernstein staff writer
Tennis season kicked off yesterday, Aug. 29, when the girls varsity team played a home scrimmage against the West High School [Torrance] Warriors. Junior Claire German, who’s going into her second year on varsity, stressed the importance of these early season scrimmages for getting into the right mindset for the league season.
“Seeing how they perform with each other and, especially for doubles teams, seeing which pairs really work well together and for singles just seeing who could keep the rallies going and seeing who can perform by themselves. We’re trying to see how the team works in a competitive dynamic and setting because we haven’t done that yet. We have some new additions to varsity that were on JV last year, so varsity is a different atmosphere and mindset so we’re just seeing how everybody adapts to that and how they work in that atmosphere,” German said.
While athletes believe it is important for new players to get a feel for the varsity game, German says the team isn’t very worried about the final score of the matches.
“The goal today is to get as many wins as possible. The outcome doesn’t really matter for this as much as it would for any other game because it’s our first match and it’s a scrimmage, and we’re just trying to see how everybody performs under pressure,” German said.
The team has high expectations coming into the season, as two singles players and one doubles team went to CIF last year. The team lost three seniors but gained three players from JV. German shouted out some impact players on the team that she thinks can do great things this season. The team added juniors Chantel Yeshova, Ava Hekmati and Adora Dayani. German went on to gush over some of her returning teammates that she thinks will do great things on the court this season.
“Hannah [Kimura, sophomore] was our one singles last year so I believe that she’d be a very good one singles this year again. Leti [Leticia Valle, junior] can keep a rally going forever. She’s a runner, she’s on track so she could just run around the court.”
Koloff was also very excited about the state of the team.
“We lost some good players but we also gained some good players and I feel like the returning players have improved,” Koloff said.
Koloff doesn’t believe that roster turnover will be an issue with this team.
“We know the people from JV so we bond as a team pretty quickly,” Koloff said.
German, while excited for the potential for this team, says that like any other team, the girls have some things to work on as the season progresses.
“We just have to have a lot more consistency when we play. I, myself, have to have a lot more consistency when I play. We just have to be more dedicated,” German said.
Coach YuYu Myinttun hasn’t picked ladders yet. Ladders is a system for ranking a group of tennis players. Myinttun has a tournament-style approach to picking the ladders.
“First we play a round-robin, so everyone on the team plays everyone, and then the top three are usually the singles players. The one doubles are the next best after that, and the next are the two doubles,” Koloff said.
German is excited for the upcoming season and this team’s potential.
“It’s going to be a good season. We lost some really good players last year but we got some really good ones this year,” said German. “Don’t know what’s going to come of it, but I think it’s going to be good.”