“We are family” resounds on tennis team

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“We are family” resounds on tennis team

Jonathan Perez, Staff Writer

Yellow blurs racing across the court at high speeds. One blink, and the game could end immediately. Players launch the ball high into the air, only to send it ferociously back at the opponent. Ladies and gentleman, tennis is back.

This year, the tennis team has lost only one match against Gulliver Preparatory. In addition to the incredible talent seen on this tennis  team, there is another reason why they are so successful: because they are a family.

This “family” shows tremendous collaboration and cohesiveness. They practice together as a team and help each other perform to the best of their abilities. The players give each other advice and support one another in their practices and in their games.

“We practice hard together, and before the games we talk and joke with one another,” senior Jovan Parlic, boys’ number one player, said. “We like to cheer and create nicknames for each other.”

The team hangs out and spends time with each other as well. One of their usual hangouts consists of dinners. All players take part in team dinners; these meals allow the team to connect with one another by playing ping-pong and basketball and enjoying each other’s presence. During the dinners, the players can just be themselves and relax. These dinners usually last three to four hours and take place in the players’ homes.

“You would think that since we are competing for spots, it would tear us apart,” senior Alan Salgo said. “But these dinners help us come together, and we have a good time,”

The dinners allow all of the players to come together and learn about one another in a unique way. The meals, along with the practices, are a great way for the team to bond and play effectively together.

“They [team dinners] make the freshmen and incoming players feel welcome,” Coach Kelly Gibson said. “The seniors can show their leadership to the other players.”

Along with the already active team players, Gibson herself helps welcome the players by providing her own experiences in tennis, from winning strategies to her college matches. Gibson informs her players about various training habits and healthy conditioning as well as the different strategies of tennis, and she gives them pointers during a match. Gibson can tell her players what they need to change during their game play in order to be successful.

“She has helped everyone,” senior Morgan Granoff said. “She has endless support and I really appreciate everything she has done for the team.”

The team is also planning an outside fieldtrip to attend the Sony Ericsson Open tournament held in Miami from March 21 to April 3. Gibson hopes that the experience of watching professionals will benefit her team immensely.

“This [the Sony Ericsson] will also allow the players to bond and motivate them to enhance their game,” Gibson said.

This team bonds well because they have played with each other for years, helping these players grow stronger with one another and improve their skills.

“We have played in tournaments with each other, so we have basically known each other our whole lives,” Salgo said. “The competition has brought us even closer,”

The team’s collaboration is an advantage that other schools lack. The players play together as a team, but they work together like a family. Each player tries his or her best to put the others first, and so far it has been very successful.

“Everyone works hard and are interested in what’s best for the team,” senior Morgan Granoff said.

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