Strong team chemistry leads varsity tennis team to state semi-finals

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By George Zhang, Co-Sports Editor Respect, kindness and humility. These are ’Stoga varsity tennis coach Britt Aimone’s three core values that led the team to its great success. Despite not having a season last year due to COVID-19, the boys varsity tennis team is now heading into states after winning second place at district finals....

By George Zhang, Co-Sports Editor

Respect, kindness and humility. These are ’Stoga varsity tennis coach Britt Aimone’s three core values that led the team to its great success. Despite not having a season last year due to COVID-19, the boys varsity tennis team is now heading into states after winning second place at district finals. The district is a tournament system consisting of a 16-team-bracket. The team was able to move all the way to the district finals for the first time in Aimone’s tenure at ’Stoga.

Senior Leo Guillen believes that the strong team chemistry and the capability to adapt to the unprecedented conditions caused by COVID-19 were big contributing factors to the team’s success. Guillen speculates that another factor for the team’s success was the ability of the captains to motivate the team.

“I think (the captains) have really done a great job. I think Peter (Auslander) especially has done a good job of being the leader of the team and galvanizing us in our pre match chant. He’s always been a good leader and helped people get used to the team and get used to the bond we have with our teammates and I think that’s something the captains have emphasized this year and have definitely succeeded on,” Guillen said.

Sophomore Hemanth Kolluri also believes that the captains did a great job helping some of the sophomores and freshmen adapt to the team.

“The captains are always there (for us). They could be playing a match halfway across the field on some court at the bottom of the hill and they’ll just make sure that the players are doing good. Everyone’s always supporting each other. There’s no talking if you’re finished your match, you’re always there for your teammates. It’s just a really good feeling,” Kolluri said.

Senior captain Peter Auslander believes that a captain’s responsibility is to make sure that everyone feels welcome and respected in the team. Auslander also led the pre-match chant everytime the team played in order to boost morale.

“I think as a captain, you have the responsibility to reach out to every member of the team, whether they’re on a varsity spot or on a JV spot. Just really let them know that you’re glad to have him on the team, you think that they’re a valuable acquisition, and that it’s good to have them there,” Auslander said.

Along with doing well at states,the team also won the sportsmanship award in their district. The award is given to the team that displays the best sportsmanship and the winner is chosen by a vote between the coaches. Aimone wanted this award a lot and shared some core values that she believes every athlete should have.

“I believe that positive character development  and consistent growth is so important for success in any sport and carried on in life. Achieving personal excellence as opposed to pursuing victories is a mindset I feel will give the best opportunity to succeed, on and off the court,” Aimone said. “I strive to create a culture where respect, kindness, humility and grace are values that are embodied by every player on the team, day in and day out.”


George Zhang can be reached at [email protected]

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