Girls’ tennis: Falcons have mixed results in quest to return to De Anza

September 30, 2022 — by Hannah Lee and Victoria Lin
Photo by Natalie Chua
Sophomore Megha Horantur hits the ball at a tennis game.
The girls’ tennis team hopes to boost team morale and improve skills for a successful season.

Editor’s Note: This story contains some information from a pre-existing story. You can view the story here.

After falling to the bottom of the De Anza league with a winless season last year, the girls’ tennis team dropped to the El Camino league this year — a disappointing result for the program after a long history of CCS qualifications and several championships from 2009 to 2018. 

A recent match concluded in a 5-2 win against Wilcox on Sept. 29, after previously losing to Lynbrook High 5-2 on Sept. 22. Before that, they beat Santa Clara High 7-0 on Sept. 20 and won against Fremont High 6-1 on Sept. 15. Their first game concluded with a loss of 6-1 to Los Gatos High on Sept. 13. “We had our first win in two years against Fremont, so that’s really exciting,” said senior co-captain Arshi Chawla, who plays doubles 1. “We’re in the lower division this year, so I think that’s going to help boost our morale a bit and hopefully get some wins.”

Chawla is optimistic for the season as an unusually high number of strong freshmen have tried out and made varsity.

“It’s good that a lot of freshmen are trying out,” Chawla said. “When they’re seniors, they’ll obviously be better and it shows a promising future.”

Several players also have experience playing United States Tennis Association matches, such as No. 1 singles player junior Sabrina Manea. Other key players include sophomore Megha Horantur, senior Melody Lin and freshman Viki Toram.

“The extra experience helps for playing matches because you know what to do in certain situations,” Manea said. 

While varsity is looking strong, the JV team still needs a new coach. In addition, current low enrollment of only 8 girls on JV will cause one automatic forfeit every match.

Despite numbers difficulties and falling to the El Camino division this season, Chawla’s main goal is to increase team spirit and positivity. Chawla said many of the members lose confidence during matches. 

As such, Chawla hopes the team can enjoy a predictable lineup in remaining matches, ensuring that everyone can be in the same position and play with the same doubles partner each time, making only minor changes after. By doing so, pairs can develop better coordination and a stronger team bond with each other. 

In order to improve team spirit, she also plans to make practices more fun and enthusiastic, from playing music on a speaker to rekindling the tradition of having an end-of-the-season season-end team dinner.

The team’s main goal is to move back up to the De Anza division with the addition of nine new members, hoping the new players will gain extensive experience throughout the season.“It’s a lot of the young players who we are going to rely on to improve as they move up in grades,” Chawla said. “I’m hoping our team comes back stronger this year, and we’re definitely going to try our best.”

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