Just two days prior, on Tuesday, September 13, the Breakers lost to the York Falcons with an overall score of 3-4. Co-captain Savana McDowell, who plays first singles this season, won her match, and so did the 2nd and 3rd doubles teams. In the end, though, the team could not succumb to victory, and they lost.
However, it was a somewhat different story on Thursday. On a relatively overcast PG day, a majority of the team of twenty-six showed up to play in the ladder or play exhibition. Then, around 3:30, after warm-ups and deciding what the matchup would be, the game against Oakwood was on– and it lasted for almost three hours for the team altogether.
On Court Number 3, Savana McDowell beat her opponent again 6-0, 6-0. I got the chance to talk to her, and asked her some questions. Savana has been playing competitively since she was fourteen, and as you may or may not know, she won the MTAL singles championship for girls tennis last year. To prepare for this kind of thing, she says that she, “worked a lot with Elin [last year’s coach] on my mental game– a lot about confidence.” In general, though, she prepares for games by practicing specific shots (ex. Volley, forehand, backhand, smash hit) that will depend on who she is going to play against at the match. And for one problem athletes face, Savana says she’s lucky that she has “never really had an issue with balancing academics and tennis.” She credits this to her dad, who’s also her coach, because he is ”pretty flexible about how long and when we practice.” When I asked her about any benefits when she applies to college, she replied that she wasn’t exactly sure what the advantages were, but “college coaches want to see that you play often–they focus more on sanctioned tournaments outside of high school.” Finally, I questioned her if she wanted to play tennis in college or perhaps pursue a career in it, and she said, “Yeah! I can’t imagine not playing [tennis] in the future, it’s my favorite pastime and it’s my dream to make money off my favorite pass time, either [by] playing or coaching it.”
Finally, around 6 pm, the last matches ended – Michelle Lee and Sofia Moore finishing out the evening – and barely, the Breakers won–4,3.
In my interview with the tennis coach, Mrs. Buller, or more commonly known as “Señora Buller” around campus, I asked a few questions regarding the game today and the team this year. She believed that PG and Oakwood were pretty evenly matched because many of the matches went to tiebreakers. Although this is her first year coaching tennis, Señora Buller says that she enjoys it. “I like being out there, and my goal is that every girl improves during the school year and that [the girls] learn that tennis is a fun and lifelong sport.” One thing she likes about the team this year is “the numbers” (there are twenty-six girls on the team this year!). Coach Buller also loves the spirit and energy, and the fact the captains (Savana McDowell and Sammy Crowley) encouraged the team to get nicknames when they announced the ladder.
Overall, the Breakers did their best and while some matches were lost, a victory was earned.
Scores: Overall score: 4-3 Win
1st: Savana McDowell 6-0, 6-0
2nd: Michelle Lee 7-6 (9-7), 2-6, 7-10
3rd: Yuri Suzuki 6-7, 3-6
4th: Sofia Moore 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (8-6)
1st: Sammy Crowley and Becky Phillips 6-3, 6-1
2nd: Diana Hughes and Danielle Pasquariello 7-6 (7-5), 6-1
3rd: Cassandra Brown and Michaela Keller 5-7, 7-6, 9-11