Girls tennis shows teamwork; suffers State championship loss

Senior Annika Bowlen returns a serve from one of her coaches during a team practice at Reno High. The girls lost at the State tournament.

Atley Weems

Senior Annika Bowlen returns a serve from one of her coaches during a team practice at Reno High. The girls lost at the State tournament.

Atley Weems, A&E Editor

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Every team has its hardships, and in those times they find the strength to persevere with the help of teammates and their support.

Yet the girls’ tennis team finds time to enjoy one another without constantly worrying about the bad times. At planned sleepovers, and during the girls’ free time, they find a way to enjoy each other’s presence and gain a close companionship with their team.

“I love them, and they love me,” freshmen Kuulei Hunter said.

Hunter is not only vibrant on the court, but she is all smiles off as well.

Her friends describe her as a happy, optimistic character that aims for spurring laughter in others. Hunter was hesitant to join the team at first, but she realized overtime that there was no way that she could pass an opportunity like this one up.

At first Hunter thought she wouldn’t fit in. Little did she know that the varsity tennis team is full of loving girls that are willing to accept new players with open arms as well as open hearts, ready for extra talent and future memories to share and create.

Hunter experienced her first real time of stress while playing a match against an athlete from Douglas that was ranked the second best on their team. Filling in for one of her teammates that were forced to go home sick and being brought up against this talented opponent wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. Taking her place, Hunter saw that this wasn’t going to be an easy task from the beginning, but nevertheless she tried her best.

“I still lost in the end,” Hunter said. “but I did my best.”

Although the game closed to a score of 2-6, Hunter knows that while she may have lost by four she attempted to win and didn’t give up. Not only did her trust in herself help, but her teammates cheered her on as well. Hunter was also cheered on in a more recent stressful situation that would make any athlete stand shaking in their boots. During regionals of all places, she was brought up against a team’s best player. To go into state, a player has to have not only the skills to excel in their sport, but confidence in themselves.

Hunter wasn’t so confident when going against this player at the Caughlin Club, but her captain Cheyenne Schula helped her calm down to a chilled state.

“When I was about to go against one of the players on the team,” Hunter said, “Chey helped calm me down. I learned that there’s always going to be someone better than me. I just have to do my best. I have confidence because of them.”

The girl’s tennis players not only recognize the support they are gaining, but know that giving it away is just as valuable as receiving it. Sophomore Maddy Nagima remembers helping her friend sophomore McKenna Levitt with family as well as other personal dramas that run into her from time to time.
Nagima herself has found help in her mentor and captain Gina Glogavac.

“She helps me grow as a tennis player,” Nagima said. “and makes sure I do what I need to, to grow as a tennis player.”

These girls are not only a team, but a family. This family took their support of one another to the State Championship at Caughlin Club tennis courts. Although they lost, the girls didn’t let their spirits falter.

They stayed for the boys tennis team and huddled together in shivering pacts of blankets, smiling and screaming in support of not only their team, but the boys. This shows that they girls would do anything to show support for each other as well as their school.

Even as the wind swept in and the rain came flying towards them, the girls remained cheering together to show their pride and were among the last to leave.

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