By Chloe Newsome
WABAM! You can hear the sound of the tennis ball hitting the racket coming from the tennis courts. Delta’s girls’ tennis players are ready to start their season.
Many of the girls on the team have been preparing for this season including going to the optional weight lifting practices.
Senior Gwen Clark is ready to go and already setting goals for the upcoming season.
““I think we will set our goals at the beginning of the season and I think our number one goal will be to just work hard for the whole entire season and also practice well,” Clark said. ”From there our hard work will pay off.”
The team’s first mandatory practice for the season is on March 14. The team does many workouts in the weight room to get ready for the upcoming season including cardio workouts.
The girls on the team are ready to work and improve on different things.
Sophomore Gabby Knight is one player who is ready to improve.
“I want to improve on my consistency and my patience because sometimes I lose my patience in long matches,” Knight said.
There are lots of returning varsity tennis players ready to start a new season. Along with the returning players there are also many new players who have little to no experience, but are also ready to try.
There are 37 tennis players and seven of them are freshmen. It also may be intimidating being new to a sport and team.
Freshman Lani Anderson is playing tennis for the first time this year.
“Everyone on the team is super nice, inclusive, and supportive,” she said.
People on the tennis team are also excited for some changes they may have for this season.
“I think I’m most excited for possibly playing doubles,” senior Maggie Hunt said. “I’ve played singles all my life so I think it would be a good change of pace to play doubles.”
The girls’ head coach, Tim Cleland, has been coaching girls’ tennis for 26 seasons.
The team is getting ready for the first home match against Greenfield-Central on April 11. Three days later the Eagles play at defending state champion Carmel.
Like every team, the Eagles have their strengths and their weaknesses.
“Our main strength is the culture we have established,” Cleland said. “Our kids care about each other and the team and want to do well for each other. We work hard day after day and try to continually improve.”
He added: “A weakness right now is a lack of match experience for many of our players. We missed the entire 2020 season and summer tennis due to Covid, and that continues to have a lingering impact on the development of some of our players.”