New coach and strong roster prepare girls’ varsity tennis team

Jack Benbow

Every sports team at Redwood comes into a new season with fresh faces, updated goals and one main objective: to win. The girls’ varsity tennis team is looking to do just that, as the countdown to opening day has already begun.

After a full week of tryouts has been completed in late August, the team’s roster is set and ready to compete for the upcoming season. However, according to returning tennis players sophomore Gabriela Rosenfeld and junior Lindsay Dubin, obtaining a roster spot this year was more difficult than usual because of the growing number of players attempting to make the team.

Junior Lindsay Dubin practices her forehand volley during warmups
Junior Lindsay Dubin practices her forehand volley during warmups

Rosenfeld, who was a part-time starter last year, said that at least 45 players attempted to place on the team, roughly 15 to 20 more players at tryouts than in previous years.

Dubin added on that, “Last year there was just a [small amount] of cuts, probably around five girls. This year over 20 girls got cut.”

Despite the overwhelming amount of competition at tryouts, Dubin was still extremely confident in her game and and played to the best of her ability at tryouts.

“The competition has only made us upperclassmen work a lot harder to maintain our position on the team,” Dubin said.

Senior Quinn Perozzi, one of the team’s three captains this year, echoed a similar sentiment. Perozzi noted that it will be a challenge for her to stay as the best player on the ladder as freshman Georgia Harms, a new player on the team, is right behind her.

“I will need to be on top of my game when facing Georgia. She’s a great player and I love the challenge,” Perozzi said.

Junior Vanessa Comins attacks a forehand during drills
Junior Vanessa Comins attacks a forehand during drills

Despite the rise in competition on the team this year, Perozzi noted that the girls still have a great bond together.

“Despite some bickering here and there over what’s best for the team, at the end of day, it kind of really is a family,” Perozzi said. “We feel like a family, and that’s what I love about this team. I come back every year and the camaraderie just gets better and better.”

According to Perrozzi, the team looks forward to seeing how new head coach, Charlie Fager, will integrate his new methods to help the team improve this upcoming season.

Fager, who for the past several years has been a lacrosse coach at Redwood, is starting his first season as the girls’ tennis coach. Fager saw the open position as an opportunity to improve the team and decided to take it due to his past experience of coaching high school tennis.

“I’m coming into a tennis culture, which is really exciting,” Fager said. “I’ve worked as a head coach at other high schools where a lot more beginners were on the team, so it’s really fun to come in and work with the girls on a more strategic mentality.”

One method that Fager uses in running a team is to let the captains take command of most daily activities, such as practice.

“As a coach, I rely on my captains for a lot, because they really become pure leaders on the team. Whether it be practice management, or helping the team in their matches, my captains are extremely useful for me,” Fager said.

Coach Charlie Fager directs team meeting prior to the beginning practice
Coach Charlie Fager directs team meeting prior to the beginning of practice

In addition, Fager said he would like to see his players  be much more aggressive while playing some of the better high schools like Branson and Tam.

“What we’ve been working on in practice is approach and attack, and you have to have a certain skill set in order to execute that process,” Fager said. “I’m trying to get them to be more aggressive in terms of moving in with an approach shot and then finishing the point at the net.”

Fager hopes the team will be able to execute this plan and play more effectively during upcoming matches.

The girls’ varsity tennis team plays away at Tamalpais High School on Sept. 12.