Varsity tennis heading to MCAL playoffs

Shauna Perigo

After losing 5-4 to Tam in a close match on Sept 29, the girls’ varsity tennis team is training for their possible match up against Tam in the MCAL playoffs.

The team is currently undefeated in the league except for the game against Tam, giving them a record of 7-1.

“We knew that it would be a tough match,” team co-captain Sydney Schonefeld said. “Tam’s always our best competitor, so we knew that it was tough and it was close, which was what we expected. It could have gone either way.”

According to Schonefeld, the team has made a comeback this year and is ranked second in the league.

“We’ve always been good,” said Schonefeld, who has been on the team for four years. “My freshman year, we were amazing, we got second in NCS and went really far. But after that, we kind of have gone downhill until this year.”

According to Schonefeld, the team lost some key seniors last year, but they have also gained a lot of new players. Schonefeld said that while the majority of the team is composed of returning players, compared to the grades individually there are more freshmen than any other grade.

One of the important new players is freshman Lise Swain, who has been playing tennis for ten years and competes in tournaments for the United States Tennis Association outside of school. Swain just moved to Marin from Cincinnati, and, according to Schonefeld, is one of the team’s key players.

Swain, who is currently undefeated individually, said that her personal goal is to win all of her own matches for the team.

Schonefeld said that the team will most likely be matched off against Tam again in the MCAL playoffs, but doesn’t have a chance to play them again in the regular season.

The team practices five days a week for one and a half to two hours based on skill level, and most of the time is spent just playing against each other.

“We all just work together. I mean, we practice hard. In a typical practice, we warm up and then play a lot of points and games to help improve our game,” Swain said.

As a new player who had just moved from out of state, Swain said that she got to know many of her teammates at a tournament in Fresno. Swain also said that playing on a varsity team has been a good opportunity for her.

“Two weeks after we start the season, we go to Fresno, which is a tournament, and the competition’s pretty fierce, but that’s where most of the people kind of bond, and a lot of the freshmen went on that, so they were able to bond with a lot of the players, so now the team dynamic is pretty good,” Schonefeld said.

Schonefeld said that the team expected Branson, last year’s MCAL champion, to be a strong competitor, but they were able to beat them pretty easily earlier this season.

“Branson won MCALS last year, but this year they lost two of their really good players that got them to winning MCALS, so now they’re back to where they were before they had those two players,” Schonefeld said.

The team’s next game is against Marin Catholic on Oct 22.