An assistant coach for the last year, as well as a Pingry teacher, Mr. Hoepfl looks forward to leading Big Blue.
By Caeley Feeney '21
The tennis season has always been my favorite time of the year. There is nothing I love more than the sport of tennis. In addition to enjoying the practices and matches, I have the greatest teammates I could ask for. When I imagined what my senior season would be like, I imagined defending our county, state sectional, and state group titles, and hopefully making it to the Tournament of Champions for the first time in my four years on the team. Unfortunately, COVID-19 had different plans.
Last year during quarantine, I was optimistic that things would return back to normal by my senior year. As the summer progressed and things were only getting worse, I started to worry that this tennis season would be cancelled entirely. Although compressed, I feel so grateful that we have been able to have some sort of season.
COVID-19 has changed how we play the game in some ways, but many things remain the same. Tennis is one of the few sports that lends itself well to social distancing. Tennis is a non-contact sport and there are only two or four people on the court at all times. One of the ways that we have adapted to the new COVID norms is by ensuring that each team has their own set of tennis balls so there is no transfer of germs and no one touches anyone else's. The home team handles both opponents' scoreboards, and instead of shaking hands at the end of a match, we tap racquets.
With our usual annual tournaments such as counties, Preps, and the Tournament of Champions cancelled this season, we had to rearrange our goals as a team. We still are allowed to play for our state sectional title, and we accomplished one of our goals on October 30 by defeating Notre Dame to win the crown. Our main goal though is to have fun and take no match for granted because nothing is guaranteed. I am proud that in spite of all the obstacles we have faced this year, we are very close to seeing an undefeated season (we are 10-0, with one match left to play). Our team is very strong on the court and bonded emotionally. We have tried to look at the positives with the key word of the season being flexibility.
While my senior season has been far from normal, I feel so lucky to play the sport I love with the people that I love. Pingry tennis has been an integral part of my experience at Pingry and it is one that I treasure deeply.
Contact: Andrea Dawson, Senior Writer, email@example.com