By: Inso Park
The start of this tennis season is one that has been long awaited and anticipated by many players. Ever since the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) announced that the tennis season would be commencing in the spring, schools and their respective leagues have been scrambling to organize matches. Girls tennis resumed practice after Winter break in preparation for prepreseason. Preseason began in the beginning of March and the team is now officially gearing up to compete in league matches.
Coach Lai has been the head coach of both girls and boys tennis teams for 2 years at Valencia, with the 2020-2021 year will mark his third year here. His strategy for preparing the team for the season has always been to “have a more difficult preseason to prepare for the real thing”. Seeing as, under his instruction, the girls varsity team qualified for CIF both years, his strategy, has evidently been effective. He believes that this level discrepancy will allow the players to realize what their weak points are and fuel them to crave winning during the league season.
This year, the junior varsity team had a total of 5 preseason matches. They ended their preseason with a record of 3 wins and 2 losses. The girls junior varsity team played their first league match against Crean Lutheran at home and they have started the league season on a positive note. League matches for the varsity team are especially important due to their results determining CIF championship eligibility. That being said, the girls varsity team had a bit of a rough season and ended with a record of 4 losses and 2 wins. Despite the rocky beginning, they won their first league match on March 25, 2021. This match was away against Crean Lutheran and the overall score was 12 to 6.
Seeing as how the last league match is in May, the tennis team will continue to play league matches throughout the entirety of the school year. After league ends, varsity starters will be sent to play at the league’s final competition with the top two players in singles and doubles qualifying for the CIF individual tournament. Despite the delay at the beginning, tennis season has begun and tournaments are resuming.