As the spring season approaches, the girls’ tennis team is preparing for another season. These players are known for being one of the most decorated teams in DHS history, and the team hopes to carry on the legacy this year. Tryouts for this year’s varsity team took place this week, beginning March 14.
Just like in the past, girls’ varsity tennis coach Garrett Turner has incredibly high hopes for the team this year.
“This year’s team will have a lot of upperclassmen, so the goals are very lofty,” Turner said.
He also expressed his ambitions for the team in terms of competition and he explained how the girls should be right back in the top rankings by the end of the tennis season.
My hope is for them to continue the high level of play they have been accustomed to,” Turner said. “We should once again be the frontrunners in the conference and region, and most likely be a top-ranked team in the state.”
Turner has confidence that the girls will not only succeed in competition but also in leading a few younger players on the team. Since there were seven seniors who played on last year’s varsity team, there will be seven open spots for new players this year. Despite seven out of 16 players being new to the team this year, Turner has no doubt that the team’s returning players will help lead the 2022 team to victory through their knowledge of the sport and great teaching abilities.
“We lost a handful of seniors, but we have a strong core of players returning who can be great leaders and continue the great traditions that have been instilled in this team for many years,” Turner said.
Not only is Turner excited for the season, but varsity tennis player Olivia Cross also can’t wait for her last season on the team after a four-year run.
“I love playing doubles,” Cross said. “It’s so much fun being able to learn how to work together and find strategies that work best for our game.”
Cross is excited to see how the team grows this year since there will almost be an entirely new team. She explained how the key to a successful tennis season is not within the team’s skill level, but rather in the team’s relationship with one another and the support they provide each other. Just like Cross, junior tennis player Maggie Nelson also echoed this sentiment.
In my opinion, the secret to success in a tennis team is bonding and chemistry,” Nelson said. “You have to like your players and get along with them and feel comfortable around them to play your best.”
Nelson also has high hopes for the season, but explains that even if they don’t come home with any championships, the team will still be happy with anything that happens this season.
“I’m not sure that [winning a championship] will happen, but I am sure that it will be fun and we will make the best out of it,” Nelson said.
Since 2004, DHS has won three division-one titles and has been runner-up an additional three times. Additionally, last year’s team also won the 23rd Saginaw Valley League Championship in a row, while also being awarded regional champions and playing fourth in the state, overall. The team and their coach are confident that they will have no problem bouncing off last season’s success and bringing the same energy into the upcoming season.