After a very successful campaign last season, the girls’ tennis team looks to replicate and build upon their performance. From August until late October, they will be training and competing to reach the top of the STAC and qualify players for States.
Asha Duhan ’19, a member of the IHS Girls’ Tennis Team, has been playing competitive tennis since seventh grade. She manages not only to excel in tennis, but to perform at the highest level in her studies at the same time. I talked to her about her upcoming season and about what it takes to be a successful student athlete.
Vaynu Kadiyali ’19: You’ve been on the varsity tennis team for four years now. How will this season be different than your previous ones?
Asha Duhan: I think this season will be extremely competitive and fun for our team. We had a number of our seniors graduate this year, and we will have many new players on the team. I am looking forward to meeting the new teammates!
VK: What are your personal and team goals for the upcoming season?
AD: My main personal goal is to reach States in singles this year. Last year, I was not able to compete in Sectionals because I went to South Carolina to play in Nationals for my tennis league outside of school, Junior Team Tennis (JTT). Also, I want to work on the consistency of my first serve. As a team, our goals are to do well in STAC. Last year, we finished second in the league. Also, our goals are to have fun playing competitively and refine our tennis skills on the court.
VK: With your team having lost many skilled seniors, will the girls’ tennis team be able to compete at the same level as last year?
AD: Every year, we have a few senior teammates graduate, but we also have many new players coming in to the team. In that respect, this season will not be much different from past seasons.
VK: How do you manage being both a committed student athlete and a strong student at the same time? Do you have any recommendations for anybody who is considering joining a team but worries that it would get in the way of their academics?
AD: I think it is of the utmost importance for student athletes to learn how to manage their time. Usually, if I have an upcoming match, I try to get ahead on homework over the weekend or the previous day so that I can focus on the match rather than worrying about homework and school. Also, I think it’s very important to proactively communicate with your teachers, especially your eighth period teachers, when you have to miss their class for a game. Overall, I would highly recommend joining a sports team! Sports teams are a great medium for stress relief and having fun with your friends. I would suggest speaking with the coach ahead of the season about time commitments and about games.
VK: Does your team have any pre-game rituals?
AD: My team has lots of pre-game rituals. We usually stretch on the court for a while, and then talk to each other about our goals for the match and what we want to improve on from the last match. Before we go on the court to play our singles and doubles matches, we always perform our chant.