Highland’s Tennis Team Set to Ace This Season

Jake Boren, Sports Editor

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While tennis is widely viewed as the “gentlemen’s sport” it is anything but tame. As the athletes take the court, their skills are put on display as they battle it out mono y mono until the victor emerges. On occasion tempers flare, and a few rackets even meet the ground with a destructive force. It’s a sport largely based on technique and mastering its intricacies can take years of practice. Luckily at Highland, newly acquired coaches and veteran players help anyone interested pick up the sport fairly quickly.

In the past, Highland tennis was known for its laid-back approach and noncompetitive spirit. However with the addition of Jeanine Elsholz and Scott Olson as head coaches, the whole mentality has changed.

“This year its very competitive,” senior and captain Ben Hogan said. “Your spot is on the line every week, and there is always pressure to perform.”

High school tennis in Utah allows for three varsity singles players, and two sets of doubles partners. Obviously coaches want to give their best players the opportunity to play in the matches, and that’s why coach Olson and Elsholz recently incorporated a system to ensure that that happens.

Players can now challenge the person one spot in front of them. If they win, they get to play in that spot in the next match. This has led to the team having seen a large increase in competitive spirit.

“I am very excited for this season, we have some good players,” Senior and captain Sam Budge said. “Hopefully we have a good year.”

Led by Hogan, Budge, and Tom Olson, who are all experienced players, the Rams have high hopes these next few weeks as they enter region play.

Thus far, the team as a whole has not experienced much success as they have faced several powerhouse tennis schools such as Olympus and Grantsville. However, it is early in the season and several of the team’s individuals have showed promising signs including a few big individual wins from the varsity singles players.

With the absence of key players from last year’s roster, the current seniors have done a good job filling their shoes and have helped the coaches improve the overall skill level of the team.

Although players qualify for the state tournament individually, the Highland squad helps each other achieve their full potential by constantly pushing each other to be at their best.

The Rams are set to face Rowland Hall at Liberty park on April 4th. Following that match region play with begin with a rivalry match at East on April 6th.

 

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Highland’s Tennis Team Set to Ace This Season