Freshman varsity tennis player reflects on season

courtesy of Simren Mahajan

The team is gathered here for its annual picture; Simren Mahajan, ‘21, in the middle row, is second from the left

The varsity girls’ tennis team ended with an overall record of 7-5, and finishing seventh place at the MSL conference tournament. They lost to Hersey High School by only a point.

Simren Mahajan, ‘21, played 1st singles, a very demanding top position, for the team throughout the season.

Although Mahajan was only a freshman this year, she learned to cope with the varsity level atmosphere very quickly. The other team members began to see her as the team’s young “prodigy,” following the steps of Nikitha Lakshminarayanan, ‘18, who was also on varsity as a freshman.

Mahajan reflected, “When I first joined the team, I was really nervous, for I didn’t have much experience playing competitively.”

“After playing along my teammates for a while, however, I began to become more confident in myself,” she added.

She said she felt pressure during her first experiences on the team, but as time went on, she adapted to her position and learned to turn her pressure into power.

Looking back, she said, “My favorite memory has to be when six of us from the team went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) at the beginning of the season.”

Her experience at the UIUC campus gave her not only insight into her future possibilities, but also essential bonding time with some of her teammates.

Before she could look too far into her future possibilities, however, she looked back to where it all began and said that she started playing tennis in kindergarten, but truly became committed to it in the third grade.

She said, “I wanted to try out for the team to advance my skills and meet new people.”

Mahajan described Sectionals as tough but said that even though the team didn’t make it to State this year, they worked very hard and improved their skills throughout.

“For next season, I’m looking forward to excelling more in tennis and continuing my great experience with my teammates,” Mahajan explained.

Varsity Girls’ Tennis Coach David Koleno, said, “We had a lot of great seniors this year who acted as leaders for some of our younger players, such as Nikitha Lakshminarayanan, Ashley Yoon, Ronita Harigovind, Sophia Zorrilla, and Sanjana Viswanathan.”

“Simren was the only freshman playing number one singles in our conference this year, so she played against a lot of older and more experienced players. She improved throughout the season, and finished 4th in the MSL tournament. Simren has the potential to get a lot better, and that is exciting,” he added.

Mahajan’s advice for up-and-coming tennis players is, “Be confident in yourself and your abilities, because the only thing that can bring you down is the fear you put on yourself. Never give up.”

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