Girls varsity tennis loses to Palisades in preseason friendly

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Alya Mehrtash staff writer

The girls varsity tennis team lost to the Palisades Dolphins 17-1 in the round-robin style competition on Tuesday, Aug. 28. Senior Chantel Yeshova was the only player to win a match. Despite the final results, new coach Sirsa Shekim was pleased with the girls’ performance.

Palisades is a very strong team. They usually win the championships every year so I wanted our team to play them so they can kind of learn,” Shekim said. “I’m really proud of [the team] because a lot of them had really positive attitudes even though they were getting beaten pretty badly by Pali,”

Senior Adora Dayani acknowledged the difficulties and her teammates’ efforts while also doing the same for her opponents’ skill. Dayani and her doubles partner, junior Cori Dyner, lost all three of their doubles matches.

“We were trying our best, but these girls are just so good,” Dayani said. “They’re not only strong players, but they’re [also] smart players, so it’s so hard to play [against] players that are that good.”

Aside from their ability to play smart, Shekim recognized that Palisades also had the upper hand in the level of play.

“Pali has a lot of tournament level players who are constantly competing and our girls are more through the high school system,” Shekim said. “So my goal is to help them transition more into becoming tournament players, and I think today was great because it inspired them to know what they can be.”

The 2018 season will be Shekim’s first year of coaching tennis at Beverly. One of her goals is to offer the players an “intensive spring offseason program and also an intensive offseason summer program [in which] they can take their tennis to a whole ‘nother level.”

“I have a whole program designed for our girls which is customized to what their needs are. I’m definitely going to teach our girls a lot more like where to move and how to be a lot more aggressive at the net and both with our serves and returns,” Shekim said.

Only three weeks into the season, Shekim has already left a good impression on many players on the team.

“I really like [Coach Shekim]. She knows what she’s doing because she’s worked with a really good high school team before, and she might not know how things work [at Beverly], but that’s because she has not been at school. Overall, coach-wise, she’s a really great coach,” Dayani said.

In the eyes of Shekim, the same can be said about the players. Not only are they fond of her, but she is also quite fond of them and looks forward to the year ahead.

“I love coaching here. I think the girls are really warm and polite and eager to learn, so I very much enjoy and look forward to seeing them every day,” Shekim said. “My hope is to help turn around Beverly and take it to a more competitive, tournament level team, something like Pali.”

Their next game was today, Aug. 30 against the Harvard-Westlake Wolverines.

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