A Match Made in Heaven

Lauren Bulanek, Staff Writer

The history of tennis is a long and winding road, but it is the female tennis players who truly changed the game. Up until 1884, women weren’t allowed to play tennis, but now Santiago High School’s girls tennis is not only dominating the sport, but they are also giving the other sports teams a run for their money. Girls tennis has been all around unbeatable since the school started, winning one match after another. The amount of time and effort these girls put in for their sport is nearly unmatched. Not only do they practice during and after school, a vast majority of the girls on the team take private lessons. On average, private lessons cost 50 dollars an hour, and it adds up quickly. Anyone who has watched a match knows this hard work is clearly worth it.

The team’s ability is only as good as their compatibility, but it is crystal clear they all work together well on and off the field. The way the girls team looks out for one another gives them an advantage many don’t even notice. Not only did I hear them reminding each other to stay hydrated, at times I heard some players often another water. Though the intensity of the 90 degree heat is incredibly dehydrating, the focus each player must have during their match causes them to loose track of their hydration. If it is noticeable, they won’t be able to focus on the match as clearly as they can when they are hydrated, causing their performance to go down. By looking out for each other, even in small ways, they help each other stay on top of their game.
The team has broken down walls again and again, beating boys sport teams constantly. Not only are they unbeatable as a team, their levels of intellect are higher than almost all of the other sports teams. As a team, girls tennis has a GPA over 4.0, nearly doubling the average GPA. The commitment these girls have to their sport and their education is more than impressive and deserves far more recognition than they get.

The cost of tennis goes far beyond physical, mental, and emotional gain, it is one of the most expensive sports. A decent tennis racket costs, on average, about 60$ but many players have to pay much more for professional rackets. On average a can of three tennis balls cost about four dollars, and if you’ve ever seen the tennis teams practice or compete, tennis balls are constantly lost. More of the costly components of tennis are things the school is suppose to pay for and do, but by the looks of the courts basic needs such as new tennis nets and tennis court repair hasn’t been done since Santiago High School Opened. A basic resurfacing job for a tennis court should be done if the court has cracks or has not been cleaned. If there are low areas in the tennis courts, such as “bird baths”, they district needs to check the tennis courts. This is done by flooding the courts with water and looking for spots that fill with water, hence the name “bird baths”. If there are low areas the courts need to be patched. When low areas are not fixed they become a common problem in tennis and it often costs more to tend to the injury than patch any low areas. Tennis courts also need to be resurfaced if the color has faded. If and when the color fades two coats or acrylic color-coating needs to be applied. If the paint job is extremely warn, a resurfacing product needs to be applied prior to the acrylic color coats, according to sources such ITF Tennis. It is also notable that if the white lines have faded new lines need to be painted or it will be growingly difficult for the tennis players and the spectators to clearly see the court. Looking at the Santiago tennis courts it is bluntly obvious the courts are in a dire need or resurfacing, for they meet every requirement. It is pathetic the school hasn’t spent a few thousand dollars fixing courts that would continue to benefit Santiago High School, if fixed, and instead spend thousands of dollars on rallies that only last today. Not only are the tennis courts a good investment, the tennis team has proven to be a even better one.

The girl’s tennis team dominates at Santiago and as a Santiago High School I truly hope the school will do more to give the tennis teams the recognition they deserve. Even a new coat of paint can make all the difference to not only the teams, but how people view Santiago. With their handwork and dedication girls tennis is truly a match made in heaven.