Girls’ tennis tournament kicks off season

Freshman+Anjali+Ramesh+serves+during+a+match+Friday%2C+Aug.+24.+Photo+by+George+Frey%2FBearing+News

Freshman Anjali Ramesh serves during a match on Friday, August 24th. Photo by George Frey/Bearing News

George Frey

On Aug. 24 and 25, girls’ varsity tennis team faced off against several schools, including St. Theresa’s Academy, Lee Summit West and John Burroughs.
The tournament proved good for RBHS, with the team winning 7-2 against Lee’s Summit; however, the Bruins fell to John Burroughs 9-0.
“Quite honestly, right now the future is not as promising as the past,” Coach Ben Loeb said. “The bar has been set so high it’s hard to maintain that altitude unless you get enough players that commit to the sport in a big way. From what I know we don’t have as many coming as we have had in the past. There are a few reasons for that which are not permanent. Consequently, I am still hopeful for great kids and promising seasons ahead.”
With tough competition, comes higher stakes. But the girls’ feel prepared to take on this competition and come out on top.
“The toughest team we played this tournament was definitely John Burroughs,” senior Eleanor Fay said. “They’ve got a really great team with lots of depth, and they’re definitely one of the hardest teams we’ll face this season.”
Despite the tough competition, the Bruins are as strongly connected as ever, with players feeling proud of their fellow teammates, as well as their own individual accomplishments.
“The girl’ tennis team is so supportive and we really are a family,” senior Abby Still said. “Last year was my first year playing, and even the girls who I didn’t know took me in and made sure I felt included. Whenever we lose, we lose together, and whenever we win, we win together. The best moment of the day for me was winning my singles match against Lee’s Summit West. I won the first set 6-4, lost the second set 0-6 and won in a tiebreaker 10-8. My opponent was talented, and we had some really good points.”
Throughout the matches, the players flashed across the court and made seamless, yet powerful, serves to begin the games. All the players put their trust in one another in order to represent RBHS in the best way that they could, with all of them making sure each felt connected and valued throughout the course of the various matches.
“Usually during matches, if we see one of our teammates play a really good point or hit a good shot, we’ll cheer for them,” Fay said. “Also if one of us loses or plays badly, the rest of the team does a great job of distracting them from the fact and making them laugh a lot, we love joking around and just having fun.”
Even with this season presenting new challenges, the team and their coach feel motivated to take on the coming season and let their abilities shine on the court.
“We have won the last 4 consecutive state titles,” Loeb said, “There’s no need to hide from it but the drive for five is on. I think we need to embrace it rather than fear it. But we don’t spend any time talking about it. We have some new faces on the varsity so they can’t relate to prior team success. We spend plenty of time talking about what we need to do on a daily or weekly basis to get better. That’s something we can control.”
Were you at the match? Which did you like the best?