Tennis: A Look into the Promising New Season

Collier Zug, Staff Writer

Tennis is a small game. It starts on the court and ends on the court. One on one (singles) or two on two (doubles). The team is packed into a few courts, and forced to play together. Other sports like soccer and baseball have huge pitches and fields where the game is played, but tennis happens in such close proximity that it’s impossible not to be involved. The players are sent into drills and activities to play together and learn with each other. Traditionally, the team has been split into varsity and junior teams, but this year is different. There are only three singles teams at the top of the ladder (the ranking of the teams), then two doubles teams. That, unfortunately, leaves many people without a match. Even so, with the ladder always changing, there is always a chance that you can move up. 


This year the boy’s tennis team has ten freshmen, six juniors, and one senior. “I think we have some very promising freshmen, and I also have a lot of faith in the juniors on the team.” Said Matt Banschbach ‘21. The “resident senior,” Banschbach has been on the team since freshman year, having played number one singles in sophomore year. A great tennis player, many of the kids look up to him. The girl’s team has six freshmen, two sophomores, 4 juniors, and 2 seniors. The team has also had really successful players. Aubrey Nisbet was on the team the previous two years, and she is a phenomenal tennis player. She is ranked number one in the country for her age group and is now at a tennis academy in Florida. The girl’s team is lead by Alexis Montana, a junior, Montana is ranked in the top 1200 in the US and plays avidly. 


In the past, the tennis teams have had success with the boy’s team winning the state championships in 1970, but no luck since then. They, along with the girl’s team have won the DISC Championships sporadically over the last 40 years. After 50 years, both teams are looking for a state championship. 


The coaches for the tennis teams have changed over the years, but not frequently. In the last four years, there have been three different groups of coaches for the team. This year, we have a new coach, Joe Hodge. He is a freelance coach at a number of clubs in the area and volunteers at Rodney Street and Tennis Rocks. “As far as being a new coach during the pandemic,” Hodge said, “ it presents its challenges, but luckily for us, tennis is one of the safest sports out there. We have a ton of new protocols this year, but I’m just glad we can all get together and play.” 


Coach Ken has been the girls’ tennis coach for around 15 years. He is a tennis guru and a friendly, supportive coach who tells the team to give their all every time.“That’s his whole thing, ‘Kick Ace’ the whole time,” said Zarina Stone ‘22. Kick ace one of the slogans of the team and means “put all of your effort, every moment is the real deal.”