Girls Tennis is Returning Stronger Than Ever

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Photo courtesy of Sapna RachapudiRachapudi

The varsity tennis team poses in masks after having a COVID-19 safe practice.

Caitlyn Kowalski, Features Editor

Although finishing last season with a 6-10 record, Hillsborough High School’s girls’ tennis team is expected to have a successful comeback for their 2020 season. With many of the players having experience, 2020 is a time for this group to reach more advanced levels.

“With five returning varsity players we know what to expect and how to handle the pressures of playing in our very competitive conference,” head coach Larry Johnson said. “With the skilled youth and returning experience I expect to do better than last year’s 6-10 record.”

To help assist their wins, key returning players senior Meghan Bharath, sophomores Niveta Bharath, Maithili Revankar, and Emily Cao, and senior Sapna Rachapudi are bringing lots of varsity experience. Although they lost key players Jackie Eschbach, Swara Ramaswamy, and Shravya Kamaraju, two freshman newcomers have the experience to fill the graduated seniors’ shoes.

“Tvisha Faria and Alice Liu will be playing varsity singles,” Johnson said. “It’s not common for freshmen to play singles, and to have two is very unusual and a tribute to their skills.”

As the season progresses, coach Johnson and his players all have the same safety goal. At this point in the season, Johnson’s only concern is “COVID-19 and keeping everyone safe and healthy.”

Additionally, Rachapudi is setting many athletic goals for her team.

“Of course, our primary goal is to keep everyone safe during COVID. However, in terms of actual tennis, this year’s goal is to adopt a winning mentality,” Rachapudi said. “We have a really good team this year, and a lot of the matches we lose are very close. By adopting a winning mentality we can turn those close losses into wins.”

With many strong rivals such as Hunterdon-Central, Montgomery, and Basking Ride this season, there is no doubt that Hillsborough will be a tough competitor to beat in their division.