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The Hornet's Buzz

The multimedia news site of The Hornet's Buzz

The Hornet's Buzz

The multimedia news site of The Hornet's Buzz

The Hornet's Buzz

Tennis team faces challenges early in season

The boys’ tennis teams have had an action-packed season so far.

Varsity has participated in five dual matches and four tournaments. Meanwhile, JV has participated in five duals and two tournaments. Novice team members are working hard as well, playing in five duals and one tournament so far.

Daniel Berkland, tennis coach and Physics teacher, said that the team has faced some strong competition in the early part of the season.

“This will be a great barometer for how we can succeed,” he said.

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This year, the team’s major strength, according to Berkland, is a strong class of seniors.

“We have a team with a high level of experience that will benefit us throughout the season,” he said.

The team’s biggest weakness is their approach to matches.

“Tennis is very much a mental sport, in that you have to break down and analyze your opponent before, during, and after a match,” Berkland said, explaining that the team is working hard to improve their mental approach. “We are going to play with a ‘swagger’ this season.”

The team’s biggest goal is to improve with every practice and match.

“If we can do that, then goals like Conference Title, District Title, State hopes, will become a by-product of our focused goal of improving with every opportunity,” Berkland said.

Varsity members have other goals.

Senior captain Greg Tluscik has been playing tennis for four years.

“I like the sport because we have a great group of kids, and it’s fun,” he said.

Tluscik hopes that the team can reach conference and district championships, adding that he’d like to qualify for state and “be the best captain in the world ever ever ever.”

Senior Henry Ho, also on varsity, has been playing for three years. The best part for him is “the team bonding, definitely.”

“I joined because all my friends were playing,” he explained.

Ho’s personal goal is to improve, and he also hopes that the tennis team can win all their competitions.

A major emphasis in training this year has been conditioning, much to the horror of the members.

Although Tluscik’s least favorite part is “when matches get cancelled because of rain and I go home and cry”, Macken Mile Mondays come in a close second.

Ho agrees, also naming running as his least favorite part. However, their coach sees it as necessary.

“Our team is becoming leaner, meaner, and stronger on the courts,” said Berkland. “Currently we are shifting our focus to strategy and implementing new weapons to use in our matches.”

Being on the tennis team leads to the formation of many fond memories, usually while the members are together.

Tluscik’s best memory is their “Joplin tournament junior year. We had a JV/Varsity cooking competition in our hotel room.”

Ho’s favorite was a tennis lock-in during his sophomore year.

The tennis boys still have plenty of games and tournaments left. They will continue to work hard and give it their all.

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