Photos by Kiley Swain
By Miranda Legg and Sam Weiser
Photos by Miranda Legg
With a determined look on his face and sweat rolling down his neck, sophomore Ryan Shean goes up to the net to hit the ball at tennis practice on Wednesday, Aug.12.
“A lot of us put countless hours in during the summer to get in shape so we can get better and be one of the best teams in the state,” said Shean.
By Samanta Garcia
Her shoes hit the solid, green court, sophomore Leah Baumann practices her backhand for her upcoming matches, and for the remainder of the season.
Baumann has aimed to improve a lot, however, she wants to get even better by gaining confidence and playing in matches like she plays in practices.
Gaining confidence is important to all aspects of tennis, including the mental part.
“I expect this season to make the whole team better, not only physically, but mentally as well,” said Baumann.
As an underclassmen Baumann has recognized the change from year to year.
“Every season is different because a new bond has to form between the new teammates and the players with more experience as high school players. However, the seniors are awesome because they stay positive and keep the intensity level high. They’ll cheer for you whether you’re on varsity or junior varsity,” said Baumann.
During their final year, the seniors are leading the team as role models.
“Being a senior means that you have to step up and be the role model for your team. It’s a huge responsibility, but it’s amazing. I love knowing that these girls look up to me. It’s also sad knowing that it’s my last year playing for this team,” said senior Alexis Applegate.
As the year has passed, games by game, motivation is key for the success of a season.
“I play because I’m just so in love with the game. I love how it feels when you win your court and you know it’s helping your team progress. What keeps me motivated is for me to keep improving my game and just the drive to get better. Knowing that I have so much potential and that I can go really far really helps to keep me motivated,” said Applegate.
This motivation is vital to accomplishing the aspirations for the post-season.
“I know we can make it to state again if we have faith in ourselves and each other. We just have to be confident and keep a positive attitude,” said Baumann.
By Peter Hyle and Christian DiMartino
This year the girls’ tennis team has worked to reach the goals set by last year’s team. With a record of 6-2, they aim to do just as well as they did last year. Despite losing many team mates the previous year due to graduation, the team is still going strong.
“Our team this year is working extremely well together. Everyone on the team has stepped up and done their part, and we’re still doing great despite the loss,” said junior Erin Patterson.
After last year’s success, everyone on the team has high hopes for what they can accomplish this year.
“I honestly think we have a great chance of making it to state again this season, as long as everyone on the team stays healthy and positive,” said senior Dana Frank.
To produce the kind of hard work and dedication that the team reached last year, everyone is doing their best to achieve their goals.
“I think that last year’s team was so successful because we had really strong team leaders who pushed us to do our absolute best,” said sophomore Kailyn Little, “and because of that we’re state runner-ups now.”
Everyone on the team is remaining positive and optimistic about the rest of their current season.
“Last year we finished second in state, which is actually the farthest any FC girls’ tennis team has gone before. It’s crazy to think about,” said Frank.
Even though the team is doing well so far this year, it is hard for everyone on the team to go through a season without the seniors that they lost last year.
“They impacted the team in so many ways. They were truly just role models to every girl on the team, and they were amazing players too. It was a hard transition after losing four of them. It felt like losing family members,” said Little.
Everyone on the team is optimistic about the future of this years’ team, looking past the loss and focusing on the strengths that the team still holds.
“They [the seniors] were a huge part of the team, but they weren’t the whole team. It was obviously tough losing them, but we’re excelling more than anyone thought we would this year without them,” said sophomore Alex Jamison.
By Melanie Parrish
Parents and friends alike cheer as sophomore Alex Jamison and junior Erin Patterson play doubles together against Columbus North in the tennis tournament on Saturday. Saturday’s tournament was the team’s first of the season.
“I think we’ve been doing pretty good,” said Patterson. “It’s a little different, because we had to start without our two best players.”
Both girls feel that the team will do well this year.
“With a lot of practices and matches, I think this season could turn out pretty good,” said Jamison.
“I believe we can get back to state this year,” Patterson added.
Coach James Markert also intends for the team to make a return appearance at state this season, for the fifth consecutive year.
“The last four years we’ve been in the top four teams in the state. I think we will this year, too,” he said.
The tennis team has made some changes in structure this year, as well as having fewer seniors.
“Last year we had a set goal, but this year, it’s all on the fly, which I like,” said Jamison.
The team, although having lost several All-State girls, has gained four new members.
“We have three new freshmen and our Italian foreign exchange student, Georgia. She’s awesome,” said Jamison. The new teammates have integrated well with the rest of the team.
“They get along really well,” said Patterson’s mother, Tami. “They have a really strong bond. I think they’ll do well this year.”
The tennis team’s next match is tomorrow (Tuesday, April 15) at home against New Albany.