Frosh tennis rises to popularity

In a singles match against Perry High School, Ali Blutstein returns Perry’s serve from the backcourt. Xavier won the game 6-3.

MJ Martinez, XPress Staff

In a singles match against Perry High School, Ali Blutstein returns Perry’s serve from the backcourt. Xavier won the game 6-3.

MJ Martinez , Sports Editor

The falling of leaves and the end of summer marks the beginning of a new season, the frosh tennis season at the Stark Center Tennis Courts, where as many as 70-90 freshman girls participate every year.

What makes this sport so appealing to freshwomen? 

According to co-head coach Judy Hernandez, ever since the no-cut tennis program was introduced by former head tennis coach Laurie Martin, the interest in tennis has been growing at Xavier.

Freshman year can be challenging, especially if one doesn’t know anyone at a new school, and since there are no cuts from the frosh tennis team, this has created a chance for the girls to meet a lot of new people. This year’s team is made up of 83 players. 

“I wanted to meet girls because I don’t know that many people yet . . . it’s fun traveling and practicing with everyone,” said Ali Blutstein

Every team has a leader, someone to guide and inspire them, a coach or in this case coaches. The frosh coaches have played an instrumental role in the frosh tennis experience by creating an environment where girls feel like they can learn and grow.

“If you don’t have a good coach the sport isn’t fun, and all of the coaches are so fun and supportive. I think everyone would say that and [that] makes up frosh tennis,” said team captain Victoria Head.

This 2022-2023 season, Xavier welcomes new co-head coach Karen Fleissner, who has begun a new chapter in her tennis career by going from coaching the Arcadia boys tennis team for five years to the frosh girls at Xavier. 

“I love that they (the team) want to get down to business, to practice and to learn and grow. They also have the hunger to have fun on the court and have a good competitive drive in games and at matches, and along with all of that, they have positive sportsmanship for their opponents,” said Fleissner.

The season has begun strongly for the team with their 3-1 record. Even so, winning is not the only main goal for the team.

“My focus has always been about character assets that come with being part of the team. Focus, dependability, respect and trust are some of the character-building traits that create a positive team environment and support a winning team,” said Hernandez.

Support the frosh tennis team in its upcoming games on October 6 vs. Desert Mountain, October 13 vs. McClintock, October 20 vs. AZ College Prep, October 25 vs. Hamilton, October 26 vs. Notre Dame Prep and October 27 vs. Marcos de Niza.