After a successful start at the beginning of the season, the MC girl’s tennis team is feeling the heat of the Palomar league.
“Today we lost to RB 11-7. We were very close with opportunities to win but came up short. The girls played well today but our losses are coming down to a few big moments where we could do better,” varsity coach Jim Wrage said.
The most recent game against RB was a tough game for the team. The girls went into the game mentally focused, but it wasn’t enough.
“Going into the game, we focused on staying energized and playing smart to try to win our individual sets to help contribute to the overall score,” senior Sydney Dong said.
Dong and her partner Sally Yen, junior, managed to win three sets in doubles. Wrage had a couple moments where he felt especially proud of his team during the game.
“Best moments in the match today were Sally Yen and Sydney Dong sweeping all 3 RB opponents, and Lea Antrobus winning 2 of 3 against tough competition in singles,” Wrage said.
Dong enjoyed cheering for her teammates after successful shots and felt great after setting her teammates up for “winner” shots.
“Overall, I was really proud of the way the girls played and how hard they fought, even if they were behind,” Dong said.
After the loss, the team reflected on what they could improve on for the next game. Dong thinks that her team could work more on moving as pairs during doubles, and becoming more aggressive at the net. Wrage thinks it’s more of a mental improvement that is needed.
“We need to work on our focus and concentration on the big moments, the big points that can swing a match either way,” Wrage said.
Despite losses, the girls feel like they are growing as a team.
“Through our wins and losses, I feel like we’re growing stronger as a team and as individual players,” Dong said.
Wrage feels similarly to Dong and the team.
“We feel we are improving and moving ahead, and the girls are pretty focused on both short and long term goals. They are gelling as a unit, or in other words becoming a team in the truest sense of the word,” Wrage said.
Dong has really enjoyed her time on the MC tennis team over the course of four years. She reflects on her experiences.
“Over the past four years, I feel like I’ve definitely grown and matured as a player and person,” Dong said.
During her sophomore year, the team placed as CIF finalists, but she lacked technique and “tennis IQ”, as her coach says. She lacked confidence to play aggressive, but she later found her strength her sophomore and junior year.
“I gained the experience and soon the confidence to really go after my shots through my sophomore and junior seasons,” Dong said. “Now, I see my role as the senior of our team, and I try my best to help out the other girls on and off the courts. After all, it’s my senior year and my last opportunity to play for such an amazing team.”
Overall, the tennis team is in the midst of a tough season, which is bound to get even harder. The team has Westview, Torrey Pines, and Canyon Crest Academy to look forward to. Wrage looks forward to the tough competition, it won’t be easy.