Communication, reaction speed prove pitfalls for tennis team faced with much larger Highlands High School

Weakened by very few players and practices, the tennis team struggled against Highlands High School in their second match of the season, March 7.

Sophomore Michaela Chen won her singles match (6-1, 6-1).

But sophomores Jacqueline Chao and Chardonnay Needler lost their doubles match (7-10).

Chen said that she did well on her serves, as well as ball control.

Needler said that she and her partner also served well, but had trouble in other areas, including their communication.

“That’s not to say we weren’t communicating, but (it was) not in a particularly effective way,” Needler said.

“What started out as support quickly became us making jokes and cracking each other up mid-game.”

She also said that they need to improve their reactions.

“I know that I react incorrectly, not in accordance with how one should act if they are in the fast-paced, gut-reaction environment that is a quick return in tennis,” Needler said.

“When we don’t react accordingly and (are) uncoordinated, it hurts us.”

According to Needler, these mistakes are partly due to their lack of practice.

“We both haven’t practiced in a long time,” Needler said. “Jacqueline’s been to zero practices; I’ve made it to one or two.”

Coach Jamie Nelson agreed that the team needs more practice.

“It has been difficult to (schedule) regular practice sessions due in part to the weather and schedules,” Nelson said.

“The event of daylight saving time may see us get in more practice sessions going forward.”

According to Needler, Nelson was proud of the team, especially considering that Highlands is a big public school with lots of players.

Their next match is Thursday, March 9, against Encina High School at Encina at 3 p.m.

By Anna Frankel

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