Reagan Tennis serves up a perfect season

Sam Graham, Layout editor

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The women’s tennis team is one of the strongest programs at Reagan, especially as of late. Last year, the women experienced a very successful season that culminated in a share of the CPC Championship. This year, the Lady Raiders entered the season with the mindset that they would not be beaten and they would have the CPC Championship all for themselves.

From the start of the season, the team was clicking, as a mix of hard work and experienced players led them to a perfect 12-0 record in the regular season. While the regular season championship was a nice milestone, the team had its eyes set on the CPC Championship match from the start of the season. On October 8, their goal of winning the conference was met.

“For the team, we really wanted to go undefeated this year,” said senior Niya Grant. “That would guarantee us first place in conference instead of sharing conference champions like we did last year.”

Head coach Scott Larson was also very proud of the team and how hard they worked to meet their goals.

“[All of the players] worked really hard in the offseason,” Larson said. “Their dedication has really paid off.”

Grant and freshman Lauren Oliver led the team in its championship win by taking home the doubles championship.

“It meant so much to me to play with someone new this year (Lauren) and be able to go all the way,” said Grant, who missed the conference match last year with health issues. “I felt great that all of our hard work paid off and we weren’t just practicing for nothing.”

Oliver has been one of the top players for Reagan this season in just her freshman year and what she’s already accomplished has been quite impressive.

“It feels great to contribute to the team and know that I contributed to our winning season,” Oliver said. “It’s been amazing to be a part of something much bigger than myself.”

While Oliver is just a freshman, her preparation for this season started long before her freshman year began.

“I play all year round, so in a way of speaking I have been preparing for this season for a while,” Oliver said.
“This summer I played a lot of tennis in order to make sure I was playing to the best of my abilities.”

While the team has accomplished a lot this season, the year is not over by any means. Next up is the individual regional tournament for the doubles teams that advanced to it. These doubles teams were Grant and Oliver, as well as senior Riley Bostian and sophomore Grace Beach.

“If [the two teams] play like they’ve been playing, they should do well,” Larson said. “It would be great to have them advance to states.”

The team will continue their run into the state dual playoffs beginning October 16. Their first match will be at home against a wild card team since they won conference, and the team is hoping to make a deep run into the state playoffs.

“The girls do a great job of playing hard while having fun when on the courts,” Larson said. “Having fun keeps them loose and everyone plays better when they’re having fun.”

The girls are set up to have a fantastic end to the season, both individually and as a team but to achieve their end of season goals it will be important to take the remainder of the season one match at a time.

“Since we won the conference, we will get to play at home against a wild card [in the state playoffs],” Larson said. “I hope we can advance deep into the tournament, but for right now, we are just concentrating on winning the first round match.”