By Rachel Goryachkovskiy ’18
Hornets buzz with the possibilities of an improved season for the girls’ tennis team as new coach Ashley Buttacavoli takes charge despite a rocky start.
The season’s current record of 1-8, shows potential for improvement as the season continues, with the team using a “let failure teach you mistakes that later lead to success” approach.
Despite the losses, the tennis team holds out hope for upcoming games saying that working on their control and agility has helped tremendously.
After last season’s disappointing finish, new players and a new coach provide a solid foundation for an improved approach to ace this season.
Captain Soleil Robertson ’19 explained, “Regardless of the outcomes we always try to give it our best, sometimes we see the output that you want and sometimes you won’t but it’s all about the time that you put in, and we definitely do put the time in.”
The Hornets described how each player improved over the summer and how the attempts of Buttacaoli don’t go unnoticed; further describing how the simple things she does motivate them to work harder.
Robertson mentioned that things like pep-talks are some of the most effective and that they are now becoming more of a newfound tradition as it showed positive results as they motivated players; their first win this season against James Madison High School 3-2, followed a deflating game against Leon M. Goldstein the score being love-5, is credited not only to the exemplary playing but also to the words of encouragement prior to the game.
In one of the most recent games, the girls demonstrated better communication skills and support for one another as words of reassurance and confidence rang out across the Manhattan Beach tennis courts.
The team struggled against Goldstein. However, the unwillingness of to go down without a fight were quickly noticed by the opposing team.
“The game was exciting and a lot more intense than the matches that we had with Midwood last year. You can see they’re working harder,” said Goldstein Player Nadezhda Blot ’19. “The coach may be doing the coaching to bring them to victory but, the players are the ones playing, and this year they’re definitely playing to win.”