South Pasadena High’s girls’ varsity tennis team is looking forward to another successful season after last year’s 10-4-1 record overall and 4-4 in Rio Hondo. The team secured a spot in the CIF, but lost in the first round to Dos Pueblos High School.
This year, the team began their preseason with a 5-13 away game loss against the Burbank Bulldogs. The doubles teams were successful in their matches while none of the singles players were able to win a set.
“It was a disappointing loss, and we’re just hoping to learn from it and improve for the next game,” sophomore Sheila Li said.
The team did just that, winning their next game, another away match against the Polytechnic Panthers, 12-6. This time, singles player sophomore Shannon Huang won two of three matches while sophomore Rachel Park and freshman Teryn Kum each won one set. Senior Anya Nicolaides and junior Molly Round won all three of their doubles matches, as did Li and senior Jessica Chang.
While the team didn’t lose any of last year’s players to graduation, their coach Marivick Mamiit will not be leading the team this season. Coach Karlos Huschke-Favela, who also coaches boys’ tennis, took the head coach position when Mamiit resigned last spring.
“This year’s team is proving to be very strong. Our strengths are that we have a lot of talent and plenty of heart to go around. Our weaknesses consist of our unmastered footwork skills and not being aggressive enough. We will be conditioning more and keep having focused and intense practices as well as keeping it fun and humble on and off the court” Huschke-Favela said.
Making it to CIF this year would mark the team’s third consecutive appearance after six years of falling short.
“Our goal is to do well this season, hopefully win in league, and of course beat San Marino,” Park said.
The team’s next game is at home on Thursday, September 8, against the Crescenta Valley Falcons.
“I feel like we’re going to do very well this season. Our experienced players are working really hard and we have new players who have improved their game over the summer,” Rachel Park said.