The Lake Ridge Tennis program has been around since the school opened in 2012 and now that the school has moved from 5A to 6A, the team is now faced with new opponents to battle. Although their foes have changed, Jessica Townsend, sophomore, believes the team will still persevere through the challenges to come.
“I’m a little nervous to be 6A this year but we’re doing really good. I thought we were gonna get snapped by the competition but we did really good. I think by keeping a positive attitude, especially when we’re playing to have a good mental game and not let other players get into our head. I think even if we’re not as good as them we can still beat them if we keep the positivity up,” Townsend said.
The tennis team is confident due in part to the depth they have in their program. Underclassmen on the JV team have been working hard forcing the varsity members to up their game. Connor Brooks, senior, believes the underclassmen have pushed the returning members to work even harder to secure their varsity positions.
“They definitely keep us varsity players on our toes because we know that these freshmen are working to take our spots. No one’s really secure in their varsity spot. These JV players are winning matches but they’re pushing us to be our best as well because we know if we slip up, they’re there to take our spots,” Brooks stated.
Although the team understand being in first place is a noteworthy achievement, they also understand they have a big target on their backs. Chris Peralta, Tennis Coach, believes the team will have to work harder to keep their spot on top of the district and although the competition will get more difficult as the season goes on, Peralta is happy with what the team has accomplished so far.
“That was our goal going into the season, to be undefeated. I’m very proud of these guys. I’m really proud of how hard they’ve worked. I’m really proud of their commitment to the team [and] how we’ve come together as a team and really showed out, even in 6A,” Peralta said.
Ariel Bueno, Assistant Tennis Coach, understands that they have to take things one game at a time because they will soon be facing some tougher opponents.
“We hope to go as far as we can but we know we’re being realistic and we know that 6A has some tough teams out there. But we would like to go as far as we can so we’ll just take it one round at a time. Last year, we ended up top 16 in the state so they have an idea on how tough it gets in the later stages, or rounds,” Bueno stated.
Despite the change of district, the tennis team continues to work hard and defend their first place standing.