The Preview: on the court with girls’ tennis

girls tennis preview

Junior Tamara Shan plays line 2 singles. She and the other members of the girls’ tennis team are prepping for SPC this weekend.

Girls’ tennis gears up for the Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) with focused training and repeated victories.

The team first competed against SPC schools in the Houston area at the Episcopal Tournament, where sophomore Natasha Gonzalez finished in second place at #1 Singles, and junior Tamara Shan tied for third place at #2 Singles.

“Our matches with other schools are particularly valuable in helping us to improve,” Girls’ Tennis Head Coach Sandy McLanahan said.

Gabby Jansson, the new assistant coach, has played for University of Houston’s team.

“The new coach boosts our intensity level,” Senior Captain April Chang said. “She knows all the techniques we need to improve to become better players, and she makes sure to drill those into our heads. Our practices are a lot more productive now that she’s part of the team.”

SPC season began March 28 with a 4-1 win against St. Mary’s Hall. The team’s record stands 5-2 in SPC counter games and 7-6 overall.

“The fact that we have so many seniors contributes significantly,” McLanahan said.”We have some girls who are active tournament players all year long, so they hit the ground running when we start in February.”

Girls’ tennis finished in 7th place in Division I for the last two consecutive years.

“While our goal now is to make Division I again, we know that we shall have to work hard to qualify this spring given the increasingly competitive level of SPC girls’ tennis,” McLanahan said.

The team practices at the River Oaks Country Club with stretching, games and conditioning as part of their daily drills. They will play at SPC Friday, May 2 in Dallas.

“We have great support for each other, which is important when some people end up playing 3-hour matches,” Chang said. “While our team doesn’t have as many all-stars or state-ranked super champs as other schools, we still have a great shot at SPC.”

Amy Liu
Staff Writer

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