Girls’ tennis: Falcons battle injuries as they head to CCS

October 30, 2018 — by Amanda Zhu and Angelina Chen

At the start of playoff season, the tennis team is facing significant challenges, especially injuries to top players.

On Oct. 23, the team lost to Los Gatos 5-2. On Oct. 18, the Falcons beat Homestead 5-2 but lost to Cupertino 4-3 on Oct. 16. The team also bea Palo Alto 6-1 on Oct. 11 and won 4-3 against Los Altos on Oct. 9.

Despite these wins, the team has been struggling with the increasing number of players getting sick or injured, resulting in constant lineup changes.

Early in the season, the No. 2 singles player, junior Monica Stratakos, suffered a stress factor in her ankle, but she is almost completely recovered. In the meantime, the  No. 1 player, senior Rini Vasan, has struggled to recover from a wrist injury that should sideline her for around three weeks, including at least the early part of CCS, which starts on Nov. 5.

In addition to Stratakos and Vasan, junior No. 3 singles player Annissa Mu, junior No. 2 doubles player Katie Lam, and junior singles player No. 4 Varsha Horantur suffered other minor injuries, although they have all managed to make speedy recoveries.  

“Anissa, Katie and I had wrist injuries but we played through it because we couldn’t lose anymore people,” Patel said.

Due to the rash of injuries, many players have had to shift up a position — for instance, Mu moved to No. 2 singles and Horantur moved to No. 3 singles.

As of right now, the team finished with a league record of 7-4.

“Everyone’s still working very hard and trying to make it to CCS,” current singles No. 4 player Sanya Kwatra said, “I think it’s a lot harder because we’ve already lost a lot of matches that we were supposed to win, but we’re still trying.”

An example of the struggles that injuries have contributed to are the Falcons’ two matches vs. Cupertino. On Sept. 25, the girls won 6-1. But the injury-plagued team ended up losing to them 4-3 on Oct. 16.

Despite the team’s current struggles, Kwatra remains optimistic as their morale remains strong.

“Monica was out for the first half of our season, and now our No. 1 is out for the rest,” Kwatra said. “I think it makes everyone a little more nervous for the matches, but we’re all still working very hard and trying our best.”

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Senior Akshat Patwardhan stretches for the ball during a recent game against Homestead.

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