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From Serve to Serve

What the Men’s Varsity Tennis Team has in Store for the Upcoming Season
The+tennis+court+located+at+Pennridge+High+School.
Nicholas W. Katits
The tennis court located at Pennridge High School.

The Pennridge High School tennis team, while often overlooked, practices just as much as any other sports team at Pennridge. A typical practice runs from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. on the days that they don’t have a match. Their practices are weather permitting and often are canceled on rainy days due to letting other sports teams utilize the gym. On a normal practice day, the team does a general warm-up which includes laps and dynamic stretches. After this, they break into singles and doubles to better prepare for their upcoming matches.

Last season was a tough one for the men’s tennis team. They struggled with skill level, tough competitors, and consistency. Aaron Rapsinski, the head coach, talked specifically about their biggest strength and the team’s best player last year, Linus Lienkamp. Lienkamp was a German exchange student, playing in both singles and doubles matches. Lienkamp had a UTR of 4.0 for his singles matches. A 4.0 UTR signifies that he had dependable strokes, the ability to use a different variety of approaches, and occasionally forced errors while serving. Lienkamp’s UTR for doubles was 4.0-6.0, which means that in addition to the skills used in his singles matches, he also had intensive training and obtained a sectional or national ranking. The team overall had a record of 3-10 and a ranking of 64.

This year, the team has a record of 0-4 after losing all four of their matches with Upper Dublin, Souderton, North Penn, and Holy Ghost Prep. Their 2023-2024 season began on March 14. After a tough season last year, the team was hoping to see some improvements in the record and the players themselves. Coach Rapsinski stated, “It’s definitely difficult; we had it tough last year, and our team last year was a little better. I would just like for us to be competitive in more favorable matches; three matches could be winnable for us. For the others that are above our level; just try not to get rolled over.” Although this season hasn’t started great, the team continues to focus on improving themselves. Many of the guys on the team are new to tennis, so they focus on basic form, hand-eye coordination, and serving at each practice. Over the last three weeks, the new players have made a considerable amount of progress and have become more consistent. When asked about strategies, Rapsinski stated, “I always tell the guys that the things we focus on at practice should apply to the match – such as finishing point at the net and not giving away free points in terms of double faults and errors – no matter who we’re playing.”

The team might not be getting the results they want, but in terms of improvement, there has been some progress in regards to knowledge of the game and their abilities on the courts. Most of all, they are having fun with it. Jake Basquill, a senior on the team, stated, “There’s nothing to dislike; we all have the same mindset going into the matches.” Basquill just joined the team this year but already feels prepared. His two main goals are to win and have fun. While this may be a difficult season for the team, hard work and determination will allow them to be successful.

Sources:
https://www.tennisct.com/rating-system#:~:text=6.0%20to%207.0,is%20a%20world%20class%20player.
https://www.ducksters.com/sports/tennisglossary.php
https://app.utrsports.net/schools/639092?t=6

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About the Contributor
Breanna Oertel, Student Writer
Breanna Oertel, Grade 12. Interests/hobbies include soccer, running, coaching, going to the beach and lake, camping, and spending time with family and friends. Breanna plans to attend Gwynedd Mercy University to study nursing and hopes to pursue a bachelor's degree in nursing and an additional degree in psychology.

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