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Girls Tennis Wraps Up Satisfying Season

Captain+Gabriela+Rodriguez+and+the+girls+tennis+team+speak+at+the+fall+pep+rally+on+Sept.+1.+Photo+by+Gabriela+Covolan+Costa.
Captain Gabriela Rodriguez and the girls tennis team speak at the fall pep rally on Sept. 1. Photo by Gabriela Covolan Costa.

Captain Gabriela Rodriguez and the girls tennis team speak at the fall pep rally on Sept. 1. Photo by Gabriela Covolan Costa.

Captain Gabriela Rodriguez and the girls tennis team speak at the fall pep rally on Sept. 1. Photo by Gabriela Covolan Costa.

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The Beachwood girls tennis team ended their season at sectionals on Oct. 4.

No one progressed to districts, but varsity captain Gabriela Rodriguez and sophomore Sabrina Machtay advanced to the second round of sectionals.

“The teams that we played were pretty good, but we’re definitely aiming to improve for next year,” said sophomore Stephanie Yen.

Even though no one progressed to districts, the team had a satisfying season.

“We’ve played some challenging games, and even when we don’t win them, it’s really impressive to see everyone play their best,” Rodriguez said.

The girls secured a win over Orange High School when their number one doubles team of senior Meghan Opre and sophomore Anna Owens won the deciding match that clinched their victory.

“As far as rivals, we wanted to beat some of the schools that coexist with other sports at Beachwood,” Coach Kevin Vaughn said. “We wanted to respect their play but we also wanted to make sure we made a statement that Beachwood tennis is on a rise.”

They’ve been really good thinkers on the court as far as putting together good patterns of play and trying to figure out their opponents’ tendencies to match with a good strategy to win sets and win matches,”

— Varsity Girls Tennis Coach Kevin Vaughn

In addition, the girls beat private schools Magnificat and Beaumont in the same week.

 

“We know here at Beachwood that it’s a public school, and we don’t have the capabilities of recruiting, so [beating Magnificat and Beaumont] was a really good goal that we set and achieved,” Vaughn said. “It was a team effort, and we showed good posture in beating some of these private schools that can go out and attract players outside of a public school district.”

Strong support and bonds within the team contributed to their success.

“We definitely have become closer [throughout the season],” Yen said. “At the beginning we didn’t really know how to work together that well, but through the matches, especially with the doubles pairings, we learned how to [anticipate our partners’ moves].”

“Everyone is super friendly, kind, caring, funny and encouraging,” Rodriguez said. “We all support one another and build up each other’s confidence,” Rodriguez said.

“We’ve always been a little close family,” she added. “Since the team is pretty small, you become really close to everybody.”

The team was also strengthened by strong leadership from the seniors, which had an impact on the rest of the team.

“[The seniors] started a tradition by showing that even if they were down, they could come back and give a win and a point for the team,” Vaughn said.

This year was Vaughn’s first time coaching the varsity girls tennis team, so he was able to see them grow as athletes.

“They’ve been really good thinkers on the court as far as putting together good patterns of play and trying to figure out their opponents’ tendencies to match with a good strategy to win sets and win matches,” he said.

“They accept coaching, and they believe they can win even if they’re down a set, and they are very much supportive of each other,” he added. “They showed really good drive, pushing each other and beating expectation on matches that maybe we [didn’t expect to win]. They really set off of each other’s energy.”

“We’ve definitely grown both individually and as a team, and I can’t wait for next season,” Yen said.

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Girls Tennis Wraps Up Satisfying Season