It is that time of the year; after months of practicing and preparation, the West Ranch High School’s boy’s tennis team readies for their season and plays their first few games. West Ranch High has two teams which compete at the levels of Jr. Varsity (11 players) and Varsity (12 players). The teams are entering this new season with high expectations, as both are expected to finish first in the Foothill League. As a Junior Varsity player on the West Ranch Boys Tennis team, our season has gotten off to a great start, although that wasn’t the case for our preseason.
During a 30-minute bus ride to a tennis match in Studio City, our team was energized and ready to apply what we had learned during our practices. Once our group arrived and found our courts, we started to warm up, until the opposing team arrived. We focused on hitting with consistency, to improve our rhythm before the game. Shortly after the Campbell Hall team arrived, we greeted them, announced our lineups, and created the matchups. Nine players from each team would be playing against each other for 3 rounds. The format for every high school tennis game is 3 singles, who play individually, and 3 doubles, who play with a partner. I was placed into a singles spot for all three rounds, so I prepared myself mentally and physically for a day in which I could only depend on myself.
After the 1st round, our team was down 1-5, but I was satisfied with my performance, as I was the only player who won their match. Our coach rallied us together and continued to remind us that we needed to calm down during tense situations and try to hit more clean and consistent shots down the line. In the second round, we were able to get some points back and narrowed the lead down to 5-7. I once again prevailed, despite some close calls, against a tough opponent. Our team was getting tired, but encouraged with better results, we entered our last round full of energy. Unfortunately, the last match did not go as planned. We were unable to close the gap, with our round score of 3-3 and a final score of 8-10. I played in a long and hard-fought match, but in the end, my opponent outlasted me on tiebreakers. Our coach told us that he was pleased with our performance and reminded us that it was only a preseason game and we had much more in front of us.
On the bus ride back home, my coach’s words really stuck with me, and I applied what we had learned during our practices over the next week. The work paid off because we won our next match at Crescenta Valley 16-2. With a great bounce back win, our season was off to a promising start. We are eager to get back to business as soon as possible, and look forward to our next game, even though we may have to wait until next season.
Jonathan Chun, 10th Grade
West Ranch High School