Shaw shares experience with teammates


Evelyn Lewis

Sophmore Caryanne Shaw serves during practice at Purcell Park.

Evelyn Lewis, Staff Reporter

Sophomore Caryanne Shaw is one of eighteen new players on the girls tennis team. Shaw had never played a game of tennis before the start of her season.  

“I really like playing, I’ve met a lot of new people and gotten close to different people as well. I also haven’t been competitive in a long time so it’s fun to bring that competitive spirit,” Shaw said. 

Most of Shaw’s friends started playing tennis earlier than her. Shaw is rapidly picking up the game but her friends still have much more experience. 

“I like being new to the team. It’s sort of weird because a lot of my friends have been playing before so they know how to play, but I’m glad that I’ve started now so that I can keep going through the rest of my high school career,” Shaw said. 

Having several new girls on the team creates a large skill difference between team members. Shaw enjoys the diversity because she can learn from and improve with her peers. 

“We have that different diversity [in skill]. We have a lot of different skill sets there with a lot of differences. Some people are good at some things [while others are] better at other things,” Shaw said.

Head coach Lawson Yoder is in charge of coaching all the new players the fundamentals of tennis. Shaw thinks it would be beneficial to have an assistant coach to help with the large group. 

“It’s hard to get one-on-one time with Yoder because there are so many people. He usually split us up into groups of six or eight and then we take turns just hitting around a few times,” Shaw said. I think it would be nice to have an assistant coach just because there will be more one-on-one time and we might be able to get better faster.”

During the first week of practices, Yoder worked with the group on developing many of their fundamental tennis skills.

“ The first week, we  learned how to swing. [Yoder] was really good at that and he helped us a lot with how to grip the racket and just the very basics. We all learned together, even the people who had done it before. Then he started splitting us up into our different skill sets of who’d been playing before and who was new to see how we can get better that way,” Shaw said. 

The tennis courts at HHS are still in progress which means the team practices at Purcell park and plays games at Eastover. Both locations only have 4 courts so with six singles and three doubles games, this leaves little time for exhibition rounds. The exhibition is when the players not in the top ten get a chance to play. 

“We sometimes split it up into two groups. So one day would be the freshmen and the seniors. And then the next day would be the sophomores in the juniors. That’s so that everyone can play when they actually come to the matches, and then the top 10 are always there,” she said.

Once the new courts are finished, the team will have 8 courts to practice and compete on. Shaw is looking forward to when the courts are finished so she can play more. 

“I’m definitely looking forward to playing more. I think we’re going to be able to do more singles too, instead of doubles because we’ll have the space to do so,” Shaw said.  “I’m [also] excited to not have to transport myself there every day and I can just walk outside and go.