The girls varsity tennis team has started their season on a high note with victories over Pomfret School and Hamden Hall Country Day School, leading to an undefeated record of 6-0. Building off this success, the girls varsity tennis team is assured to accomplish much more as they continue their season.
The team opened their season with a strong match against Pomfret School on April 8, beating them 8-1. They continued their momentum into their match against Hamden Hall Country Day School on April 10, dominating 7-0.
Led by senior Co-captains Stella Dodd and Hallie Braunstein, the team consistently focuses on playing passionately with dedication and grace during each match and practice.
Continuing to keep up the girls’ momentum is a goal of Head Coach Ronald Garcia. “I want to get stronger at the net in doubles, and I want to fight without fear,” he said. He hopes to win 80% of their matches and contend for the Founders and New England championships.
Coach Garcia looks forward to their future matches and hopes that this season can allow the players to improve on their skills. “I love to see players embrace the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,” he said. “It’s what makes the world go around.”
Senior Abby Baier thinks that the season has been going great so far. “I feel, even though we didn’t move into matches right away, our team dynamic really came together early on,” she said. “All the girls are amazing and we’re so supportive of each other! We won our first two matches, and we are always working our hardest, not only to win, but to improve as individual players and as a team.”
Junior Hannah Malkin agrees with Baier and thinks the season is going pretty well so far. “We’ve done very well overall as a team so far in the season,” she said. Malkin’s goals for the season are to improve as a player and for the team to connect more overall, as she loves spending time with her friends on the team.
Braunstein is hoping to have the best season that the team can, as it is her last. “With this year’s team, we are extremely competitive in every match,” she said, “and we all need to continue to work hard in practices so that it translates to matches.”
Braunstein’s favorite part of the KO tennis team is how competitive everybody is. “We all really want to win and will do what it takes to get there,” she said. “I also really love how close we all are and are able to have fun in everything that we do.”
Baiers’ main goal this season is to have fun and enjoy her last season playing KO tennis. “Whether at practice or at matches, every moment is an opportunity to love the sport I grew up playing,” she said.
So far this season, junior Loretta Szych thinks that the players have begun to establish themselves as a team. “We have won our first two matches against Pomfret and Hamden Hall, and the most noticeable aspect of our team is the support everyone gives from the sidelines when they have the chance,” she said.
Szych’s goal this season is to improve her mental strength during tough matches. “When you are alone on the court, it is easy to get down on yourself,” she said. “I have a strategy of taking every point one at a time. There is no use in blaming yourself for how the last point went when you have countless points ahead.”
In addition, she is looking to improve her serve accuracy and placement. “Without a solid serve, you can’t play as consistently,” she said. “For this reason, I do my best to increase my first serve percentage and not make any double faults.”
As this is Szych’s first year on the girls varsity tennis team, her favorite part of the KO tennis team is everyone’s apparent love for the sport. “There is nothing I love more than getting out of school to hit around for a couple of hours at practice, and it is very clear that the other girls feel the same,” she said. “I feel accepted by the team as a new junior who came to play tennis, and I feel like the girls are all motivated to improve as a team.”
As the team moves through their season, they will continue to grow together as a team to meet their individual and group goals. With future matches against Cheshire Academy and Greenwich Country Day School, the team is sure to do well and continue improving their skills for their future matches.