After losing the first game of the season, Samo’s girls varsity tennis team is slowly pulling ahead. The Vikings won the next two games against Mira Costa and El Segundo; both very close matches. In the opener against Harvard Westlake, Samo lost 5-13, giving them a rocky start to a new year.
“It was a hard loss. It was a good growing and learning experience for the girls. It was very educational seeing my players playing a top notch school and seeing what we need to work on,” Coach Wilston said of their first game.
Harvard Westlake’s overall record for 2009 was 16-3, while they were undefeated in their own league. Against Santa Monica, they won eight of nine doubles sets.
“We lost because we are just getting the hang of competing. We have learned from our loss. We are doing a lot better now,” senior Annie Volovik said. Volovik is one of the three captains of the varsity team.
Volovik’s words could not be more true. After their loss on Sep. 9th, girl’s varsity played Mira Costa on Sep. 23, and tied 9-9. Once they counted up individual points for each set, Samo made progress with a 86-79 win.
“In the Harvard Westlake game, my girls were not focused. But against Mira Costa, they moved better because of their commitment and practice,” said Coach Wilston.
Their most recent match, against El Segundo on Sep. 28, was extremely close. Samo ended up winning by only one point, making the final score 80-79.
This win was very impressive. This is due to the fact that the team was missing their number one player, Christine Maddox as well as teammates Julia Gordon and Lucy Walsh. During the game, all the substitutes had to play and many team members were in positions they were not used to. Rankings had to be mixed up; singles players were playing doubles and vise-versa. Despite their weaker numbers, Santa Monica won.
The team is slowly climbing their way up to the top; possibly to CIF.
“If we keep the hard work up, we have a very good chance of going far,” Volovik said.
Last year, the Vikings were undefeated in their league, 8-0, while still having the impressive record of 11-3 overall. They won the Ocean League Championships, but lost in the third round of CIF.
This year, there are two freshmen on varsity; Christine Maddox and Julia Gordon. Maddox is currently number 1 for singles and has only lost 2 matches this year against number 1 players.
“She has done really well. She has been a really good asset to the team. Christine is very good for the girls, an inspiration and a good lift,” Coach Wilston said of the talented freshman.
“It is really the same team as last year, with our 2 new freshmen. We did really well last year. In order to improve, we need to pay attention to more specific things that we are doing wrong, like consistency, placement and accuracy over power. We spend a lot of time together as a team, so rather we win or lose, we still always end up having a good time,” said sophmore and teammate Meagan Wilson.
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