Match, Set, Point

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Written by Ali Lister

This year’s tennis team is aiming for a gold medal at a state-wide competition. After coming in second as semi-finalists last season, Coach Morgen Walker has high hopes for this year’s team.

“I have got every intention of winning the District, winning the Regionals and going to State,” Walker said.

Despite adjusting to new players and finding a new chemistry within the team, Walker is confident. Already #1 in the district, the team is on the right track to achieve their goal. After playing Plano East on Sept. 8, West stole the lead among the three Plano schools, currently coming in fifth in the state.

“Obviously the two city schools, Plano and Plano East are big rivals,” Walker said.

Through rigorous practices and grueling heat, the tennis team works out on the courts every day, practicing for a minimum of one hour at school, and then expected to practice another hour on their own time. With that amount of dedication, their results are no surprise.

“Doubles is about communication and making sure you and your partner are on the same page, so you are both working to achieve the same goal,” junior Maddy Thompson said.

By practicing with their match partners, the doubles teams have a greater ability to know each other’s weaknesses, and help each other out. Since doubles reflect on the school, cohesive partnerships are needed.

“You have to work as a team to win each point and it teaches you how to work with people and it also starts off the match,” junior Lara Ksiazek said. “You are either winning or losing, and from there it pretty much determines the outcome of the match.”

Despite the pressure resting on their shoulders, the team is lighthearted in spirit at each practice, joking around, but getting work done.

“My expectations are the same every year,” Walker said. “The returners know what those are. They understand what I expect from them every day at practice.”

Since beginning their season Aug. 8, the team has met those expectations, and brought their best to each practice, proving to everyone, including their fans, that they are here to win. Despite still being in the early stages of the season, the team has promise in maintaining West’s legacy of not having lost a District match since Bill Clinton was president, and even setting a new legacy of their own: State Champions.

“Winning is great but if we do not win, we will make an improvement,” Walker said. “If we are getting better and we are good people, then I’m happy with that.”

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