Senior Maxwell Shukuya reaches up for a high ball against his San Juan opponent. Shukuya, who joined the team this year, played an exhibition mixed doubles match with junior Julia Owaidat as a partner. They lost the match, 1-5, 0-6. This was the first time Owaidat played for the tennis team.
Cavs win ‘under-the-lights’ match, 7-2, despite some students playing for the first time in years
“Good hustle, Colby. Way to go!” tennis coach Patricia Jacobsen cheers from behind the fence.
“Come on, Nina, you gotta hustle – this isn’t Fairytale Town!”
It’s the tennis team’s “under-the-lights” match at Rio Del Oro Racquet Club, and the opponent is San Juan High School.
In the end, Country Day won the match, 7-2, as San Juan had to forfeit five games due to a lack of players.
The Cavs won both boys’ singles games.
Junior Johann Dias defeated San Juan’s number-one boy, 6-0, 6-0, and junior Nathan Chan beat the number-two boy, 6-1, 6-0.
Nonetheless, both Dias and Chan said these matches weren’t their best.
“I played at about a five out of 10,” Dias said. “My forehand was iffy at times, and my first serve just wasn’t going in enough.”
For Dias, the key to the match was strategy. “I was really trying to hit (the ball) away from him because he was favoring his forehand a lot,” he said.
Though Chan won both sets by a large margin, he said he could have played better.
“I wasn’t consistent and (wasn’t always) able to control the ball,” he said.
Chan’s opponent’s placement on the court also proved challenging.
“I wasn’t used to his hitting style,” Chan said. “Most people stand at the baseline, but he stood at the service line.”
Freshmen Lily Brown and Molly Gherini, who played number-one and number-two girls’ singles both lost their matches against San Juan.
For Brown, this match – with a final score of 2-6, 1-6 – was her first in a few years.
“I knew it was going to be hard because I haven’t played in a while,” she said. “But I think I did all right, and it was fun!”
Gherini, whose match ended 0-6, 1-6, found it very difficult to return her opponent’s fast balls.
“She (was) really quick on her passing,” Gherini said. “I don’t think I did very well because I haven’t been going to the practices.”
In addition to the four singles matches, the Cavs played three exhibition matches that didn’t figure in the team’s final score.
Senior Maxwell Shukuya and junior Julia Owaidat lost their match, 1-5, 0-6.
Shukuya said their main issue was serving. “We lost a lot of points on bad serves,” Shukuya said. “And that’s a pretty easy thing to fix.”
Owaidat, who has never played on the team before, said she needs to work on not hesitating when going for the ball.
“I kind of got scared when the ball was coming at me,” she said.
Seniors Anna Wiley and Grant Miner also lost their exhibition match, 5-10, and junior Colby Conner and freshman Nina Dym ended with a score of 1-10.
All of the exhibition matches were played against San Juan’s singles players. According to Wiley, this affected the course of the matches.
“I didn’t really know what to expect, but we were bound to lose,” Wiley said.
For Dym, who’s never played tennis before, the match proved more difficult than she expected.
“I didn’t know what I was doing, and I just got back from a soccer game, so I was tired too,” she said. “I was surprised that I actually hit the ball a few times.”
Jacobsen said she was impressed by how well the team did considering many players didn’t had little experience.
“I just love that I could call (Dym) after soccer and have her be willing to play,” Jacobsen said. “We have such great athletes – they’re still competitive even though it was some people’s first time.”