The Smyrna High girls tennis team has had quite the season this year, one that could easily fill a highlight roll with impressive win after impressive win.
With one match left, the 11-4 Lady Eagles have compiled seven 5-0 wins and four 4-1 wins. At one point, the team had an eight-game win streak in between loses to Caesar Rodney, one at the beginning of the season and one at the end. Sprinkle in a second doubles team that went 15-0 in the regular season and it’s easy to see why the Eagles have high expectations going into the Henlopen Conference tournament this weekend in Bethany.
Though head coach Courtney Markiewicz knew she had a good team heading into the season, even she was surprised with the team’s success.
“I am surprised. I knew we would do well; I didn’t realize we would do this well,” she said. “I definitely I thought we’d have a lot more 2-3 loses or 3-2 wins. I’ve been surprised by the amount of 5-0 wins and 4-1 wins that we’ve had.”
High expectations for big goals
With all of her players sporting winning records, Markiewicz is pretty sure most of her players will be seeded in the tournament. If this is the case, she feels the team will have a really good shot at bringing home a couple of medals.
“I’m hoping to get everybody finished within the top four and to end up first or second overall as a team at conferences to improve on last year when we were third overall,” Markiewicz said.
Like the rest of her teammates, first singles player Sarah Koehler has high expectations heading into conferences this weekend.
“First place, I always go for first place. Even if you don’t make it, you play like it,” she said.
There are things to improve
As a whole the team is competitive and hates to lose. As a result, the girls are always looking for ways, win or lose, to improve themselves. But there are only a few things the team needs to improve on going into conferences.
“Just playing our games. Not trying to rush each point and rush each game, and just taking our time. We just need to relax,” Markiewicz said.
End of an era
As five of the seven varsity players are seniors and a sixth is a foreign exchange student, next year’s girls tennis team will be full of fresh faces.
From the personalities of the girls to their work ethic and dedication, Markiewicz is going to miss the seniors. There’s a total 13 seniors on the team, which includes a handful of foreign exchange students. However, there’s a group of underclassmen Markiewicz is looking forward to working with in the years to come.
Page 2 of 2 - One such underclassman is freshman Katherine Clark, who currently plays at third singles and is expected to move up to first singles next year.
“I’m nervous to play first singles next year but I’m not nervous for the team. We have some good junior varsity players who are ready to step up,” Clark said.
Email Jennifer Dailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.