Girls tennis exceeds expectations for season

Jeremey Zhao , Community Editor & Copy Editor

The Naperville Central High School varsity girls tennis team competed at the Benet Academy 2A sectionals on Oct. 15-16. Central’s Sofia Olaru won the singles championship, qualifying her for the state tournament.

The varsity team also had their DuPage Valley Conference tournament at Metea Valley on Oct. 9, placing third out of six teams.

For the whole season, the team was 12-6-0.

“They exceeded [expectations],” Central girls varsity head coach Alyssa Girgis said. “I came into the season hoping for another fun season with the girls, hopefully a good team record, and we had all of that and more.”

Coming off a truncated tennis season in fall 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, this season was a breath of fresh air.

The best part of the season was “just getting together with the girls, getting to make T-shirts and hanging out and making posters for seniors,” said junior Mira Patel, who plays first doubles for the varsity team.

Besides the team bonding, the season also provided some great opportunities for the players to learn and improve their game.

“I think the most memorable match actually was one of our team losses,” Girgis said. “The girls got to witness what it takes to really be super aggressive at the net. It was kind of like something for us to live up to. It was a really, really cool match.”

When they’re not on the court, the girls tennis teams host various fundraisers and events to connect with the community. All three teams hosted a car wash to raise money for the program in August.

They also collaborated with GiGi’s Playhouse, a local nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness and acceptance for Down syndrome.

“We invite special needs students ages three through high school to play with our girls, and we teach them tennis skills and just have fun with them,” said Girgis.

The state tournament took place the weekend of Oct. 23-24.