Girls’ varsity tennis team hits off first match of the season with a win

Sabrina Kizer

Battling Maria Carrillo High School on Aug. 26, the Redwood girls varsity tennis team dominated their first match of the season at the Redwood Buchanan Tennis Courts. The team won six out of the seven matches they entered, with the exception of their first singles match, which was lost after a close tiebreaker. After countless hours of individual and collaborative preparation throughout the summer, the team is ready for a great season.

This year’s varsity team consists of 24 girls, and nearly half of the team is made up of freshmen. Marlies Zeisler has coached the team for a total of 15 years. Zeisler has seen a diverse set of players throughout her career, and she has supported their tennis aspirations by giving them the coaching necessary to succeed. Zeisler is highly impressed with how her current team is looking.  

Cheering team members root on their players during the first match.

This is a great group of girls and is [one of our] highest skilled teams. We are super lucky [with] the level of tennis that they [all] play,” Zeisler said. 

Given that this year’s team is exceptionally skilled, it is impressive that some freshmen are being ranked higher than upperclassmen. The team has a ladder in which they rank all of their players to create evenly matched games against the opposing team. This was showcased in their match against Maria Carrillo.

The most notable freshman from the match playing second singles is Jordan Marotto. Not only did Marotto win both sets 6-0, but she also had two games where she came back with the score being love-40, winning the game. Her teammates, including sophomore Lindsay Reed, and coaches all recognize her unmatched skill. 

“She’s always been [an] outstanding [player], and I think Georgia, [the highest ranked player], may have a run for her money at this point,” Reed said. “Jordan will definitely be our number one next year.” 

Jumping into her serve, freshman Jordan Marotto dominates her first match on the varsity team.

With this match being the first of the season, Marotto had a great deal of nerves. However, she persisted through her doubts and realized that her team was supporting her every step of the way. 

“It’s the first match of the season and everyone wants to prove [themselves] and try their hardest. I thought of it as ‘oh you have to win this to prove your spot on the team,’ but more so, it’s just to have fun. Even if you lose, [you know you are] not gonna let [your] team down [because] everyone is supporting you,” Marotto said.

One of the most important aspects of the team is how inclusive they are towards each other, no matter their grade or skill level. Many of the freshmen who joined this year were worried about fitting in, but they were pleasantly surprised by the teams’ uplifting attitude.

Preparing for a point as third singles, junior Sonya Cowan stands on the court.

“The team is really welcoming, even the seniors. Everyone is treated as equals and it’s just a really fun team environment,” Marotto said.

Many of the players have recently been working on identifying their opponents’ weaknesses, something they were able to use to their advantage in this particular match. The team has also worked to maintain consistency so that they start the match off just as strongly as they end it. This strategy was proven to be effective  in their win against Maria Carrillo. Overall, the team showed great potential, and if this match foreshadows the rest of the season, it is sure to be a record-breaking one.