Girls varsity tennis dazzles heading into the playoffs

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With the playoffs approaching in upcoming weeks, “fire-hot” is the perfect way to describe the girls varsity tennis team. They currently have a record of 7-1 and have high hopes to ride their success into the playoffs.

This has been made possible largely due to the efforts of the new head coach Joseph Canzoneri, who has been a big help to the underclassmen that have stepped up to make this team a big contender for the playoffs.

Mr. Canzoneri has high praise for the team as a whole, saying, “It turns out this team is really good. Generally, the Townsend Harris High School’s girls tennis team either misses the playoffs or kind of gets in as a low seed.”

He went on to compliment the freshmen who have stepped up and showcased their previous tennis experience, adding, “Out of our seven starters, four are freshmen. We just had a lot of freshmen come in who have had previous tennis experience and who compete in tournaments outside of PSAL. These girls are pretty hardcore. The captains and I work together. I don’t do too much in terms of technique, especially [with] those girls who have been training for as long as they have. The girls are excited, especially the seniors, who know this team is different from teams in the past.”

Also a coach for the Forest Hills varsity baseball team, Mr. Canzoneri added, “I have found as a baseball coach that coaching tennis is a lot like managing a pitcher in baseball. A lot of times with pitchers in baseball, maybe all of their pitches are not working on a certain day. That’s true with our tennis players. Certain days their serve is on and certain days it’s off. Certain days their backhand is working well, certain days it’s off. A pitcher can kind of get inside his own head and get himself off of his game, so a lot of what I’m doing, from a coaching standpoint, is psychological and dealing with that part of the game.”

Senior captain and first singles starter Liana Weitzman commented, “The entire team, as a whole, has so much chemistry. We all love each other as a family, even though most of us just met, and it is the most amazing thing when you realize your own team is doing so well.” She also emphasized her desire to play well and make sure that everyone on the team has fun during the practices and games. On the 4-1 start, Liana added, “Since we’ve started off great, in no way does that mean we can slack… since the season is so quick and almost over, we need to be on our best game.”

On October 7, the Lady Hawks knocked off first-place Cardozo High School with a valiant effort from all of its players. Freshman Rachel Zhang won the second singles match by score of 10 to 0, and freshman India Lott won the third singles match by a score of 10 to 3.

Freshman Hope Ha and senior co-captain Tseten Lhamo combined to win the first doubles match by a score of 10 to 5.

Last but not least, sophomore Jessica Wang and freshman Neeharika Kotimreddy won the second doubles match by score of 10 to 4. This gave them a 4 to 1 triumph over one of the best girls tennis teams in the entire PSAL.