Tennis preps for winning season

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Coach Barbara Giffin

The Burroughs tennis team is all smiles after their Aug. 25 win against Tehachapi.

Amanda Ngo, Staff Reporter

Each sports season brings forth unique challenges and opportunities — just ask the Burroughs Varsity Girls Tennis team.

With two league-champion titles in the past four years and six All-League players from last year alone,  it might be a bit surprising to learn that the players were not even certain that there would be a tennis team this year.

“We didn’t have a head coach, so I think the whole team was a little worried we were not going to have a season, but I feel like that brought us closer together,” said senior Jordan Staheli.

Despite the uncertainty in the air, the players were determined to have a season. Over the summer, they would gather at 6 a.m. on weekdays for informal tennis practices in anticipation for league play. Thankfully, their worries were set aside when Barbara Giffin was announced as head coach.

“I was pretty unsure at first but multiple people recommended me to Coach Tim [Higgins],” said Giffin, a member of the local tennis-playing community. “After talking to him about what coaching would entail, I was excited about the prospect.”

With the reassuring presence of a head coach, the Lady Burros are taking a hopeful look toward the new season, eager to prove themselves in league play once again — despite the loss of last year’s seniors, including Hannah Ostermann and Alyssa Workman.

“We have a core of experienced players returning from last year’s championship team,” said Assistant Coach Tim Higgins. “But our top two seniors from last year provided 6 points at almost every match, a significant percentage of the 10 points required to win. The returning players will have to step up and provide more points this year.”

The team faced its first challenge Aug. 25 against Tehachapi, outscoring the Warriors 7-2. Emma Kimbler, who scored a double bagel, was pleased with the effort but knows that the rest of the season may not be so easy.

“There’s a lot of pressure for our double players to carry points this season,” said Kimbler, “but with enough practice, I think we can have another successful season.”

The Burroughs’ tenacity have been tested this season, fluctuating between close losses and overwhelming victories. In their other preseason matches, the team lost in a 9-9 tie against Lancaster, with a game score of 67-70 and won against Bishop (17-1). League play panned out in a similar fashion, with a 9-9 loss against Serrano (83-88) and a 17-1 win against Sultana.

As of press time, the Burroughs are set to play Hesperia on September 27th and Oak Hills on September 29th.