MSJ Girls Tennis triumphed at MVAL on November 1, winning the tournament for the fifth consecutive year. Maintaining a flawless 7-0 record, they secured a spot in the Team NCS, where they won the first round but lost the second round on November 8.
In the Singles/Doubles NCS, which begins on November 20, Sophomore Ashley Tsai will be playing singles, and Co-Captain Senior Kaitlin Hsu and Sophomore Hilary Lu will be playing doubles.
AP Computer Science teacher Michael Jan led this victory in his first year as the coach for both Varsity and Junior Varsity Girls Tennis teams. Along with his experience in coaching both the Varsity and Junior Varsity MSJ Boys Tennis team last year and Washington High School’s Girls Tennis team, Jan is a Class of 2001 MSJ alumnus who played for Boys Tennis himself. At MVAL, the Warriors dominated the court, ending up with MSJ vs MSJ in the finals. Jan said, “It was amazing and I have never seen anything like this before.”
The team itself consists of many talented players who have trained competitively from a young age. Jan said, “A lot of the schools we play against, their players usually start playing around junior high. Our players have been playing a lot longer, and they have been playing outside of just school tennis.” Due to the players’ advanced level, Jan can emphasize strategy more than teaching and honing basic skills.
Hsu also cited the young talent and competitive spirit of high-performing players as a major contributor to their success this year. Hsu said, “The freshmen that tried out this year, all of them are competitive players and they all performed well.”
With the addition of many skilled freshmen this season, the captains focused on building team chemistry and making newer players feel more welcome. Jan credited Team Captains Seniors Hsu, Cassidy Sun, and Brittany Tran for their collaborative effort in the team’s continued triumph. He said, “[The captains] were huge in organizing everything and building up the next generation.”
To prepare for Singles/Doubles NCS, Girls Tennis is currently focusing on game-planning for their opponents’ tendencies in hopes of making it past the second round, a feat that has eluded MSJ in the past few years.
Hsu said, “We’re just going to take it one game at a time … [we’re] extremely grateful to be able to extend our season longer and play more.”
Photo Courtesy Freshman Melanie Sun