Reimi Kusaka ’21: Tennis has helped me grow a stronger mindset. After every match, I came off the court learning a new lesson about staying persistent, determined, and positive. I am able to use these strengths both on and off the court.
Hannah Zhang ’21: It’s a really strategic sport, which I really like. Also, after coming to Andover, [I loved] the team aspect of it, because tennis is an individual sport typically, but being able to be with teammates and cheer each other on has been something I’ve really loved.
What makes tennis at Andover special?
Zhang: It’s the big team aspect, because we get to see our teammates everyday, even when it’s not the season because most of us live on campus. During the offseason, we are able to have brunch together and practice, which makes a bigger, stronger bond.
Kusaka: The people on the team is definitely what makes tennis at Andover so special. The tennis team has become my second family, and every member is like a sister to me. I still talk to the Seniors who have graduated in the past two years that I have been on the team. Additionally, the support and energy from both our teammates and the community makes the season so much more enjoyable.
What is your favorite team tradition?
Kusaka: One of my favorite team traditions is our secret psyches. Last year, we exchanged gifts before every game, and it was something to look forward to in addition to our matches. Since we have a small team and we know each other so well, it was easy to guess who our gifts came from, but it was fun to create the gifts to show how much we appreciate each other.
What has been your favorite tennis memory at Andover?
Zhang: Along with just hanging out and practicing daily with the team, last year we beat Hotchkiss and won Nepsac, and it was really nice because the year before, my [Junior] year, we lost to them in the finals, so it was a big redemption match.
What are your goals as a captain?
Kusaka: My goal as Captain is to make every member on the team feel included and valued. I hope to be approachable so that I am able to listen to everyone’s opinions. Additionally, I want to be someone the players can rely on both on and off the court, and demonstrate positivity and optimism in any situation.