Girls’ tennis enters season with optimism

September 24, 2021 — by Alexander Kan and Nidhi Mathihalli

21 people trying out, 10 on Varsity, 11 on JV

Head Coach: Florin Marica

2020-2021 Record: 4-6

Key Additions: Freshman Megha Horantur 

Key Matchups: Monta Vista and Palo Alto

Star Players: Seniors Catherine Kan and Naisha Agarwal, sophomore Sabrina Manea

Key Losses to Graduation: 2021 Alumni Juhi Patel, Amanda Zhu


After last year’s shortened season and the graduation of key players, the girls’ tennis team is starting their new season with an optimistic mindset.

“Since last year was a bad season for us, we’re trying to bounce back this year,” senior co-captain Naisha Agarwal said. “It was definitely a tough year for everyone and many other schools dropped divisions.”

They ended the 2020-21 season 4-6, during which fewer girls tried out for the team than in previous years, forcing them to take more freshmen and sophomores than normal. 

This season, varsity lost four key players: 2021 Alumni Juhi Patel and Amanda Zhu, senior Shahnaz Mohideen, who discontinued this season due to the time commitment, and junior Samika Agarwal, who had scheduling conflicts. However, the additions of freshman Megha Horantur and senior Navya Desai have helped the team maintain both numbers and talent.

For singles, No. 1 player is Sabrina Manea, No. 2 is Horantur, and No. 3 is Naisha Agarwal. Jocelyn Li and Melody Lin, Arshi Chawla and Ariana Tootoonichi, Navya Desai and Amy Li are the top three doubles pairs. For the general outlook, the tennis team is excited this year to play a normal season and think they can win a majority of their matches.

Senior co-captain Catherine Kan is aiming to increase their team spirit in the process.

 “We have more people trying out this year,” Kan said. “We’ll also have the chance to do more in-person activities, since we struggled last year with team-bonding.”

Despite optimism for this season, Kan noted that many team members have not been able to train as much as they did prior to COVID-19 due to the restricted number of people allowed to practice at the courts. As a result, the team is hoping to get back in shape as the season progresses. . 

They have had two rough matches as of Sept 20. Their first one resulted in a 7-0 defeat at Palo Alto. Their second match also resulted in a 7-0 defeat, this time again Cupertino.

“I  had a great time doing team bonding for my first two [in person] years,” Kan said. “I hope that we can recreate the fun we had and have some great experiences this year.”


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