Tennis season starts out rocky, strives for improvement


Matthew Kang photographed by Ahmed Altuhafi.

Ahmed Altuhafi, Staff Writer

The weather is beginning to warm up and the trees are blossoming in Tualatin, marking the start of spring sports, including tennis. Veteran players and upcoming stars are eager to prove their worth and showcase their skills on the court, as well as new players who are looking for a fun hobby and a way to stay fit. 

As you take a closer look, you might find that it hasn’t been all rainbows and sunshine for the young athletes. Having to face schools who are more sport-focused can make it hard for the athletes to compete. 

“It’s been a tough season overall,” new math teacher and boys’ tennis coach Anna Raschko said.  “When you have schools like Lakeridge and Lake Oswego where they have 27 kids playing at clubs all year round, 24-7-365, they’re going to be a solid and consistent team.” 

The boys are not the only team facing challenges; the girls’ team is also having a hard time this year, although it’s all about the mindset, according to math teacher and girls’ coach Bo Williams. 

“A lot of times it would get to deuce where one point wins the whole thing and not keeping that patience long enough allowing the other team to get one extra hit,” Williams said. 

These struggles aren’t unique to the Tualatin team. You can find a common theme throughout multiple schools who have a hard time playing tennis due to the weather conditions. Oregon still has very rainy days even this late into the season, making the courts wet and unplayable. This forces  rescheduling and sometimes even cancellation of those matches, ultimately making the young athletes lose out on play time. This creates a ripple effect of more and more struggles for these tennis teams. 

“We do what we can. Sometimes we’ll go and do practice in the gym just to move and get together, but you do what you can and make the best of it,” Raschko added. 

Having that said, it’s not all doom and gloom. The Tualatin tennis teams are determined to improve upon their season and make a strong comeback with a fierce attitude. 

“Some of the drills that we do is just having gameplay of them trying to get 20 hits in a row without making a mistake or trying to work on lobbing over the net and keeping the ball in play,” Williams said. 

Even with tough opponents and limiting weather conditions, Raschko is optimistic. 

“We’re not making it easy for them,” she said. We’re not getting blown out of the water.”

As the season continues, the Tualatin tennis teams are bound to face more challenges, but players and coaches are confident they will find a way to work around those obstacles using their grit and determination.