Tennis to begin district tournament

Freshman+Macie+Snyder+hits+a+forehand+return+during+practice.+Snyder%27s+doubles+partner+is+junior+Abby+Lux+and+they+have+placed+in+multiple+tournaments.

Photo by Andie San Luis

Freshman Macie Snyder hits a forehand return during practice. Snyder’s doubles partner is junior Abby Lux and they have placed in multiple tournaments.

Tennis will begin its district tournament on April 13 at 8 a.m. at Marcus High School. The tournament will run all day and finish on Wednesday. 

Each team at the tournament will consist of eight girls and eight boys. The players compete in either singles, doubles or mixed doubles. The first day will end after semifinal matches. The second day will have the final and any playback matches. The first and second place finishers in each category will advance to regionals.

“We had kind of a rough start in the fall,” junior Abby Lux said. “We didn’t get to the playoffs like we had in the past couple of seasons, but we started off spring season pretty strong. I believe we have had at least one person place at each of the tournaments.”  

Lux said COVID-19 has led to missed practices and inconsistent doubles partners, making it hard to make sure they are playing their best. 

“The biggest challenge this year has been trying to make it a good experience for the kids while still trying to keep kids safe and healthy,” head coach CJ Cowgill said. “Kids haven’t had the normal time that they do in terms of being able to bond or spend time off the court together, which has taken away part of the experience.”

The team practices every day for an hour and a half. Cowgill said it can become a grind because they have both a fall and a spring season. The team has spent the last practices working on specific skills and strategy in preparation for the tournament. 

“Our coach has emphasized to us over this past week that practice has become ten times more important,” senior Rohan Agarwal said. “For the past couple of days we have been doing a lot of exercises that coordinate with our strengths and weaknesses.”

Cowgill said the team’s maturity and confidence has grown from the beginning of the year. He said players who began the year with little varsity experience have stepped into those roles and are now thriving. Cowgill said the team is peaking at the right time. 

“I would say we can improve in the mental game, using correct strategies and the correct time, things like that,” Cowgill said. “I look forward to seeing the kids perform under pressure in a setting where the stakes are high and the quality of tennis is great.”

Lux said she expects sophomore Lance Luong and senior pairing Mia Nguyen and Lindsey Peterson to play well in the tournament and hopes they advance to regionals. 

“Our goal is for the kids to play the best that they can play this week,” Cowgill said. “The competition in our district makes it incredibly challenging to be one of the top two, so whatever happens, happens. We just want to prepare our best and then perform our best when it matters. Hopefully we will be able to have someone advance to regionals.”