After a nearly flawless record of 12-1 last year, Andover Girls Tennis hopes to top its previous success by avenging its only loss in this season’s closing NEPSAC Championships.
“Last year, we came in second in New England’s after losing to Milton, so this year we are really hoping to win and bring the title home,” said returner Sewon Park ’17.
Co-Captain Camille Price ’15 added, “Milton has several new players on their roster as well, but we are hoping for the best and are willing to put in the work to come out with the win.”
Andover was successful last year because of its quality of players across the entire ladder, as all team members contributed equally to wins and losses.
Price said, “We gained some very valuable players last year who really helped us take our game to a higher level in practices and in matches. They made our ladder a lot deeper and will do so this year again.”
Andover’s previous Co-Captains Campbell Howe ’14 and Katherine Tobeason ’14 graduated from the team, but talented returners and skilled newcomers such as Dariya Zhumashova ’17 are expected to fill the voids. Co-Captain Isabella Haegg ’16, Larissa Danovitch ’16, Madeleine Mayhew ’15, Park, Reagan Posorske ’17 and Price are Andover’s six returners.
“We lost two strong Seniors, but our returners are excellent and have worked hard on their games,” said Head Coach Deborah Chase. “We expect some new talent as well. Unfortunately, [Zhumashova] won’t start the season because of an injury, but hopefully she’ll be healthy enough to play soon because she’ll make a big impact on the team.”
Posorske added, “This year, there are so many girls trying out and so many amazing players who show great potential for the team.”
Over break, Haegg, Price and Posorske sought out the heat of Miami to warm up their tennis games and get back into the groove before matches.
Price said, “We spent five days training down there, playing a few hours of tennis and having workout sessions during the day. In the winter, the courts are covered in snow, and not everyone is on top of their gamel; however, unlike last year, when we were all a bit rusty, the three of us are going into the season pretty tuned up and ready for the season.”
“Being able to withstand the Miami heat and humidity really took our games to the next level. Playing outdoors is a whole different game than indoor tennis. While we may not be seeing those temperatures any time soon in snowy Andover, we were really whipped into shape,” Haegg said.
This year, Andover will focus more on fitness during practice in order to gain the upper hand against top competitors.
“The difference between us and some of the other top teams that we will be competing with will be fitness. We are aiming to do a lot of cardio and organize different workouts in order to elevate our games,” said Price.
“With more focus on fitness this year as well as more training and hitting with different partners, we are hoping that we will find even more success this season,” she continued.
“Our goal is to grow together as a team and put forth our best efforts to win throughout the season and in New England’s,” added Head Coach Deborah Chase.
Andover will face off at home against Groton on April 10 for its first match of the season.