Girls Varsity Tennis loses to Poly Prep in Ivy Prep League tournament

Athena Rem, Staff Writer

The Girls Varsity Tennis team lost to Poly Prep in the first round of the Ivy Preparatory League Tournament last Monday. Despite the loss and windy and cold weather, the team bonded and showed a lot of group spirit, Coco Trentalancia (11) said. “It’s always a great time to be with the girls, regardless of our results.” 

Though the weather was not ideal, the team still pulled through and did a good job, Girls Varsity Tennis coach Ken Bruton said. 

Though Emily Grant (10) lost her singles match, she still played well, Bruton said. “[Grant] stood out to me on Monday for how well she competed, and for having an amazing attitude doing it.” 

The team’s top doubles team, captains Jade Ciriello (12) and Bella Colacino (12), played extremely well and were the only team to win their match, Bruton said. The poor weather did not seem to affect them — their playing was the best Bruton had ever seen from the pair, he said. 

To prepare for the tournament, Bruton helped the team develop new strategies and made sure they were mentally prepared, Trentalancia said. One of these strategies was to always get one more ball in than the opponent, she said. Getting one more ball in means trying to hit the ball as strategically, rather than as hard, as a player can, putting focus on remaining consistent with shots and power exerted, she said. With this strategy, players can always hit “one more ball” than their opponents, which is what helps players win points, Trentalancia said. 

Leading up to the game, the team showed its team spirit by wearing festive Christmas-themed clothes on Monday. The team also enjoys spending time together on the bus to away games, where they can talk about strategy and bond, Trentalancia said. 

Throughout the season, Trentalancia felt lucky to be able to play despite COVID-19 restrictions, she said. “Luckily for us we are in an environment in which the courts are pretty spread out, and we only have to really be in communication with our doubles partners or [not at all] if we play singles.”  

Bruton is also looking forward to today’s match against Riverdale. The team has had good practices and is working on strategizing to make the next game even better, Brutom said. “We are looking forward to hopefully getting a win on Friday.”