Varsity Tennis Serves Up a Win

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  • Navin Baruah ‘18 serves the ball back towards the other team.

  • Kiana Graham ’20 gets ready to strike.

  • Alec Baskerville ‘17 sets up the ball.

  • Kiana Graham ‘20 prepares to attack the ball.

  • Evan Troche ’18 gets ready to hit back.

  • Evan Troche ‘18 gets inform to hit the ball.

  • Evan Troche ‘18 and Jake Stern ‘17 work as a team to give Westwood another win.

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Coming off a clean sweep win at districts, the varsity tennis team dominated against Bowie High School and claimed the area title with a hard-earned victory of 10-0 on Tuesday, Oct. 18.

Going into the match, athletes knew they had to bring a positive mindset.

“We weren’t expecting an easy match, but we played really well and it was a good team effort too,” Kiana Graham ‘20 said.

The team started off strong in doubles, winning every match and bringing the score up 7-0. Following doubles were the singles matches, where Sofie Kardonik ‘19 won the last match 2-0, helping the team bring home the victory.

“We had very good energy today, and we knew that we had to win this to get to our goal of regionals,” Kardonik said. “My goals were to win, and to outwork the other team. We stayed positive and gave it all we had.”

This year’s area meet was especially unique, with players qualifying for the last ever regionals to be held. As the University Interscholastic League (UIL) moves towards a playoff bracket used in other sports such as basketball and football, certain matches such as regionals will no longer be in play.

Though the team is relatively confident in their individual strokes, most can agree that keeping up a positive attitude throughout is something for them to work on.

“In the future, I want to improve my positivity through the match, and not get down on myself even if I miss just one shot,” Kardonik said. “If they hit a winner, I need to know that that’s gonna happen and that I have to keep fighting.”

Even before the school year began, players have been putting in the extra effort to make sure their goals are met. Countless hours are spent on the court, perfecting strokes and improving their consistency.

“As a team, we’ve all just been working a lot harder,” Alec Baskerville ‘17 said. “There are multiple captains this year instead of just one on each side and I think that has helped a significant amount.”

In addition to the many hours of work put in, teammates’, as well as parents’ support played an important role in bringing home the title. Echoes of encouragement could be heard across the court as the match went on.

“It’s a very close knit team, it’s fun to watch them cheer each other on and support each other,” head coach Travis Dalrymple said. “Win or lose it’s fun to watch the team be like that.”

The night ended with the team gathering on the courts in high spirits, performing their usual break consisting of claps and chants. With the Bowie Bulldogs beaten, the athletes are focused on the next step in their journey towards state — regionals.

“We knew Bowie was a good team, we just played well enough to beat them and stay focused on regionals,” Coach Dalrymple said. “We just gotta keep perfecting what we’re doing and keep fine tuning our skills and I think we’re gonna play great.”

The regionals match will be held on Thursday, Oct. 27.