Varsity tennis team facing massive turnover next fall


Barmey Chum

Current sophomores Yarin Meirovich ( top middle and bottom right ) and Jacques Car An Dang (top right and bottom left) joke around at practice. They’re expected to carry the torch next year with the seniors gone.

Barmey Chum, Sports Editor

As the Akins Tennis Team embarks on a new horizon, a generation finally reaches the end of their journey. The team is beginning the spring season with their heads held high, even with a few obstacles in the way. They have already put their first junior varsity tournament behind them on January 30, where they traveled to the Austin High hosted tournament at the Whitaker Sports Complex.

“They’re one of the reasons I come to work every day. Thy are always willing to try and hustle and volunteer to help out another teammate and they work hard in their studies as well,” said tennis Head Coach Christina Jenschke said. Jenschke said the players’ long history of playing together since they were freshman has been an asset for the team. “They were on varsity freshman year, sophomore year, junior year and senior year so they got to travel to matches together, got to travel to tournaments together and really cheer each other on and get that family feeling.”

But with the team comprised mostly of seniors, this season will be the final act of their many of their high school careers. Jenschke has enjoyed watching the core of the tennis team grow throughout the years, and with them leaving after the season, the team moves forward and looks to rebuild.

“I’m going to be sad to see them go and hopefully they have a good run these last few matches, but overall, I think this season is going to be great,” Jenschke said. “We’re looking forward to getting out there in the sun and playing some matches.”

Senior Andy Doan, who has played on the Akins team since he was a freshman, said the team has made a lot of improvement since last year.

“I feel like we’re going to win a lot of tournaments. Possibly even advance to district.”

Doan doesn’t believe his confidence is misplaced either. He has faith in his teammates’ ability to push themselves and continue to become better tennis players and bring home many trophies in their last run.

“A common misconception people generally have about tennis is that it’s not very difficult to master,” Doan said.

“If you want to get competitive in (tennis), it’s hard,” Doan said. “Like people, they have low expectations until they hit the ball and it goes all over the place. That’s when they realize, ‘Oh shoot. This sport is hard. And then, when they play someone who actually knows how to play the sport, they get crushed by them. They’re just going to be like ‘Huh, I was making fun of tennis all this time until I realize, it’s actually a hard sport.’”

Doan expects a lengthy rebuild process following this core’s departure, however, considering the team’s enormous senior presence.

“It’s definitely rough when we all leave, there’s definitely going to be a big hole in our team.. we seniors comprise almost all of the varsity,” Doan said. “We believe in our underclassmen like Jacques and Yarin to push our team even further and carry on what we’ve built here,” he said.