Westside Girls Tennis Struggles in Early Season Duals


Sting Thompson

Senior Claire Bonnett prepares before a serve in a dual against Bellevue West.

The Westside varsity girls tennis team has completed their first two weeks of the season, going 1-3 as a whole in that span. Following a dominant sweep over Papillion La-Vista South, the squad has slightly cooled down since. Losses to Marian (1-7), Lincoln Southwest (4-5), and Millard North (3-6) highlighted the Mar. 24-Mar. 29 stretch. 

“If we keep doing what we’ve been doing we’re going to get there,” head coach Bart Jeseritz said. “Our schedule has been extremely tough to start out the season but what we proved is that we can hang in with anybody.”

For Jeseritz, ability is certainly not an issue for this group of girls. There’s been many flashes of potential shown in these first few matches that leave plenty of room for optimism about this group.

 “There’s no question that these ladies have the talent and the connection to do great things,” Jeseritz said. “Bringing it all together on the court and having the confidence individually to perform is the key factor, and I strongly believe they will do so.

Many times in sports physical strength and ability isn’t the most important attribute in the formula for success. Freshman Grace Greenwald weighs in on the importance of mental strength.

“I feel like being in the right mindset is key for momentum,” Greenwald said. “Having an open mind is very important and being able to accept that your last shot doesn’t define the match.”

Aside from individuality, in a sport that deals with team points like tennis, it’s a necesity to be on the same page with your teammates. Positivity and encouragement goes a long way.

“Having a supportive team environment helps a lot,” Greenwald said. “It’s always good to have a strong backbone.”

It can’t be emphasized enough how important team chemistry is in order to run away from matches with wins. Senior Claire Bonnett, who’s been on the team all four years in high school, is someone who’s been a part of a few different teams and knows how it can affect the results.

“Team chemistry is always important,” Bonnett said. “It’s always great to have not only a teammate but a friend on the same side of the net as you.”

Westside will have their fifth dual matchup of the season against Elkhorn South today, April 5 at 4:00 p.m. before they have their first invitational next Monday at Koch Tennis Center.