Girls Tennis: An Undefeated Season


The Girls Tennis team after winning the PIAA Team District Champion Award. Photo by Gwen Schoonmaker.

Melinda Wu, Staff Writer

After over a month of competitive matches against various teams in the region, the State College Girls Tennis Team (SCGT) leaves their season with an undefeated record of 15-0. Although the Girls Tennis team has been historically known to score high, seasons where they are completely undefeated are uncommon. Close records like 16-2 in 2018, 15-2 in 2019, and 17-4 just last year are regular occurrences. What makes this season so unique is that the SCGT won against both Hershey and Cumberland Valley, both known to be hot competitors.

Hitting their season off in August of this year, SCGT held their practices during the heat of the summer, committing themselves to another great season. For a week, the team spent 2 hours each morning holding tryouts for new players who would later become their future.

This year there was a large influx in new players, with around 10-15 joining the team. Most are beginners and/or freshmen, but there are a few upperclassmen and some experienced players just now joining. While it may seem unusual for a sports team, there were no cuts made this season. Some on the team believe that this promotes teamwork and collaboration, which will later help the team to victory. 

Freshman Darina Issabek is a beginner player who tried out for the tennis team in August. She believes that tennis is a sport where you must learn to communicate with your teammates in order to win. When asked to share what she has learned, she responded, “Teamwork. You learn how to communicate with people. And tennis is a sport where if you play doubles, you’re supposed to communicate with the person to know who’s going to get the ball and stuff like that.” 

The beginners exhibit several different skills and traits that allow them to work well with others and thrive as part of the tennis community and team. Senior player Jessie Chen, who has been on the team for 2 years now, observes the abundance of new players with a keen eye. “I think the new players are really dedicated and that’s why we had no cuts this year. ‘Cause our coaches saw how dedicated they were to coming to practice and just trying their best, even if it’s just their first year playing,” she expresses.

Losing 6 top players will be tough, but Coach Jane Borden believes in the beginner tennis players and their hard-working spirit. “It may take a year or so to get back on track but I do like the look of our returning core group.  They are committed to working hard and they are great kids,” she writes.

As school started and summer grew to a close, their matches became increasingly sooner, and the tennis team prepared themselves with practice each day after a long school day.

Their first game began the afternoon of August 29, and finished strong with a score of 5-0 against Carlisle. The team continued on with their track record, winning scores of 5-0 almost every single match. Nonetheless, there were some teams which they had lost against repeatedly. In previous years, SCGT has struggled against Cumberland Valley and Hershey, but this year, they won with scores of 5-0 against CV and 4-1 against Hershey.

This was a monumental victory for the SCGT team, who rallied together to make a difference in their matches, and supported their athletes with encouragement and cheers.

They hope to continue their undefeated streak in later years and through their post-season championships. Currently, they have won Districts and are now heading into States. Scores and news are posted after matches on their Instagram, @scgten.