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Team Spotlight: Girls' Tennis
Each team develops a unique culture based on its members; some teams are intense, never cracking a smile, while others tend to be relaxed and embrace challenges lightheartedly. The 2014 edition of the girls’ varsity tennis team has pulled from its varying personalities to develop a culture wholly unique, but incredibly effective.
Head coach Melanie Maness credits her senior captains for setting an example for the entire team to follow, “Emily, Michelle, and Nicola distribute the responsibilities of leadership. Together they form a cohesive team with no players left to their own devices. All three captains are competitive and tenacious, but gracious with their opponents and teammates.” Tri-captain Michelle Asch acknowledges her role as a leader on the team, but deflects praise, “I believe Nicola, Emily, and I were not the only ones to shape the chemistry of this team. Instead, the team collectively was able to really work well together. We all started out as equals, and it is because of this that we have such great chemistry. Everyone is a leader on this team, not just the three of us.”
In an individual sport like tennis, team dynamics can be challenging. Maness and assistant coach Linda Limburg have worked hard to create a culture of competition that is balanced by support, “I’m most proud of the way the players will battle it out in practice for a higher position on the ladder, and then turn around and cheer for one another in our Lakes Region matches. It is this team culture that will serve us well as we head toward the Lakes Region championship in two weeks.”
The balance of competitiveness and support has been the perfect recipe for personal growth among team members. Asch notes, “Overall, we have come a very long way from our first match. I feel confident that we have a great chance in the Lakes Region Tournament both within singles and doubles. We are not a team that just has a great number one player and then the ladder drops off. We are a team that has strong singles players and doubles teams. In this way, it makes our team very strong against our opponents, and we will show up to the tournament ready to play knowing this.” Maness echos her captain’s thoughts, “We are poised for a fantastic close to the season. In the next week, we will finalize our positions for the four events on Saturday, May 17 at Brewster Academy. In both singles and doubles, we've enjoyed great success. Our goal as a team is to transfer our collective knowledge to our designated representatives and send them into battle. Make room in the trophy case, we are bringing home some hardware this year!”
Best of luck to the varsity girls’ tennis team during the remainder of their season!
Located in Andover, NH, Proctor Academy is a private coeducational day and boarding school for grades 9–12. Students benefit from a rigorous academic program, experiential off-campus programs, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.