Girls tennis transitions to one team


Cody Cupper

The girls varsity tennis team for the 2023 spring season. Instead of having a separate junior varsity team, the players have been combined to form a larger varsity team.

The girls tennis team looks different this year than in the past. Previously, varsity and junior varsity (JV) were separate teams, with different practice times and spaces. This year, one team of 27 players will practice together.

Head coach Joyce Feliciano made the decision to combine the two teams in order to create a less divided tennis community. 

“This season, I hope each player realizes they are equally important to the team and they all contribute to the positive team culture,” said Feliciano.

Senior Reece Emmert is a captain for the girls tennis team. As captain, she aims to foster community among players, aided by the newly formed upperclassmen leadership group.

“One of the goals of having one team is so everyone is treated equitably and it’s more of a tennis community. There’s no hierarchy,” Emmert said. “We wanted everyone to feel more included because at the end of the day, we’d all get better if we’re all practicing together. We’d have a more positive experience.”

Combining into one team didn’t result in fewer overall players compared to previous years. Sue Harrison, the assistant coach for the varsity team, said that this year’s team has two extra players than last year’s JV and varsity combined.

“At tryouts we actually kept more players than we had planned as the standard was good and we didn’t want to say no to people who had come to tryouts and clearly love the game,” Harrison said.

In competition with other schools, JV matches will be played by those lower in the varsity lineup, which is decided based on demonstrated skill. However, Emmert said that a benefit to having one team is that players who would formerly only play JV matches now have the opportunity to play varsity matches. Feliciano echoed this advantage as a reason behind her decision to combine the team.

“We can more easily move players up and down a lineup based on their level of play,” Feliciano said.

Junior Magana Bancud has been on the tennis team since freshman year. After the first few practices of the season, they felt the team had remained strong and supportive.

“The community is really good. Everyone just went right back into their patterns,” Bancud said. “Everybody’s super encouraging […] It’s nice to have that extra group of friends.”