Girls Tennis Team Not Phased by Youth, Looks Forward to Future

With three of their six varsity players being underclassmen, the girls tennis team is headlined by youth this season. However, their age hasn’t prevented the team from being successful, as they’ve only won five of their seven dual meets.

With the team being so young, they also have had young players step into leadership roles. Head Coach Jordane Warkentin said that sophomore Anna Schmillen has become a big leader.

“Anna Schmillen has really stepped into a leadership position,” Warkentin said. “We have not voted for captains, but she has kind of assumed the role and has brought a lot of positive and encouraging leadership to the program.”

Warkentin said that she has emerged as a leader because of her work ethic before and during the season.

“She is currently playing #1 doubles and #2 singles,” Warkentin said. “Although she is only a sophomore, she really worked hard in the off-season to improve her all-around game. Due to her hard work, she has increased the level of play in practices and matches for all of our players. She sets a good example of hard work and determination.”

Warkentin said that the senior leaders have also done a good job of setting good example through their work ethic.

“The seniors bring a lot of positive energy to the court,” Warkentin said. “Although some are not in our top 6, they are still working hard everyday to improve and are extremely encouraging to the younger players.”

Schmillen said that she has been able to learn lots from the senior players this year and last year.

“I’ve learned from the seniors that  accountability is a huge part of the team,” Schmillen said. “Not [just] being late to practice, [but also] cheering on the Jv team, being coachable, performing to the best of your abilities, and making sure that everyone feels included on the team.”

Warkentin said that the underclassmen have been big contributors this season and that they will look to keep growing for future seasons.

“The youth of our team is really exciting because we are already seeing a lot of success from our players,” Warkentin said. “They will continue to grow as athletes and will fine-tune their strengths on the court.”

Schmillen said that she also agrees that the team’s future is very bright.

“[Being a young team], I think we will be a very talented team in the upcoming year,” Schmillen said. “This also means we have great room for improvement to grow as a team.”