Photo from the 2016 Girls Tennis team practicing. Photo from the Blue and Gold Archives.

The 2019 Girls Tennis season is in full throttle, as the team has already competed in two meets so far. A week of tryouts has left the team with a total of 13 members—nine doubles players and four singles. All 13 are dedicated to having a successful season, as they work hard at both practices and meets.

This year’s team is led by seniors Nicole Chen and Nikita Puri, both being singles players. Chen hopes that she and Puri are doing a “good job” in the eyes of their fellow teammates. Through her leadership, Chen wants to help the team bond and develop a stronger relationship. She says that the team last season “struggled to bond” and “were not that close.” She hopes that this year the team does not have the same struggle, as establishing a more meaningful relationship would benefit the team in the long run, in terms of teamwork and overall attitude.

According to senior Queenie Dang, the captains are already making a good impression on the team, stating that they are “very determined” and are “great leaders.” Dang adds that the captains are “constantly” trying to make the team stay positive and try their best, regardless of rough times the team had not “anticipated.”

The six new players already exemplify the motto of the captains. Dang says that each new member worked hard during tryouts, showcasing their tennis skills to the fullest. She adds that each member “brings their own set of skills,” which adds more versatility to the team overall.

Chen’s goals for the season, along with “getting to know” the members more, is to have a better record, qualify for States, and “have fun.” She knows that the team is always putting their best effort when competing and consistently refuse to give up, making these goals achievable for them.

Dang has similar aspirations for the team. A major goal, according to Dang, is for the team to improve their record from years past. The team is currently working towards this goal by micromanaging, as they focus on “essential skills” such as serving and “keeping control of our hits.” Returning players like Dang often talk to the new players as a way to make sure that they are”enjoying their experience of being part of the team.”

The first match of the season was on April 10, against Triton Regional. Unfortunately, the match resulted in a loss for Malden, with a score of 1-4. Chen believes that the team performed “pretty well,” especially as the team had to play in the cold. “It was one of the coldest days [they] have played or practiced in,” Chen says.

Dang says that everyone on the team worked hard and “kept their heads up,” despite the loss.

She mentions that the singles in particular worked “extremely” hard and played to the best of their ability to keep the match close.

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