In its season opener, Andover Girls Tennis beat Groton in a match that came down to the wire, with a final score of 5-4. Led by its upperclassmen, Andover was able to push through the nerves that came on Saturday by supporting one another on each point.
Kendra Tomala ’26 said, “We really supported each other. We all tried to keep the spirits up high. For doubles we tried to encourage each other and when there was one match left and we all just stayed and supported the last player… Our support for another really helped us to perform or at least feel good about how we were playing”
While Andover was able to maintain a positive mindset to come out on top, Tomala noticed that nerves were a prevalent figure in each match, especially for the newest members of the team.
“I think I was pretty nervous during my doubles match. For next time, I think I just need to work on staying level headed and keep thinking about the next point. The past doesn’t matter, you just try to keep getting better at every single point,” said Tomala.
Evelyn Kung ’26 shared a similar experience to Tomala, making uncharacteristic mistakes due to the pressure. Despite this, Kung gained confidence throughout the day.
“My partner and I, Claire [Cheng ’25], worked together really well which made it easier to motivate each other. I think because it was our first match we made more errors than usual… But I think the match went well. We were able to push through even though it was our first match and then my singles match went well… I usually do better at singles so that match went pretty well,” said Kung.
Despite the high level of competition provided by Groton, Andover was able to push through its close matches by supporting one another, according to Tara Phan ’24.
“Our [Co-Captain] Ananya [Madduri ’23’s] game was very, very intense, but we all cheered her on even though we lost that game,” said Phan.
Looking forward to its next match against Austin Prep, Kung believes that Andover has room to improve regarding playing through pressure. However, with the support of each teammate, it should be easy to fix, according to Kung.
“As a team I think like we could all work on shaking off our nerves, so we can play our best every time. But I think the team overall has a really strong mindset and supports each other really well, so I don’t think there’s really much to work on in terms of the team,” said Kung.
The team plays Austin Prep next Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.
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