Portola Pilot

Spreading the “Love” of Tennis

+Sophomore+Kameran+Mody+fist-bumps+his+team+as+he+runs+down+the+lineup+at+the+start+of+the+match+in+order+to+increase+team+spirit.
 Sophomore Kameran Mody fist-bumps his team as he runs down the lineup at the start of the match in order to increase team spirit.

Sophomore Kameran Mody fist-bumps his team as he runs down the lineup at the start of the match in order to increase team spirit.

Helena Hu

Helena Hu

Sophomore Kameran Mody fist-bumps his team as he runs down the lineup at the start of the match in order to increase team spirit.

Helena Hu and Annie Qiao

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Junior varsity boys’ tennis maintained its undefeated streak in its match against Sage Hill High’s varsity on March 21, marking the team’s eleventh win of the season.

Despite the disadvantage against upperclassmen, a brotherly and supportive team dynamic encourages players to push each other to perform at their best when competing against their opponents, which includes some of the best high school players in Orange County.

“We’re all really tight, and we’re a close family. We all work together and do well together. That comes with results,” sophomore Kameran Mody said. “I think we work harder than any other team, and we’re closer to each other than every other team, so I think we’ll continue winning.”

Since last year, returning sophomores have improved in terms of consistently performing well. Most players continue to compete tournaments and receive private coaching during fall and winter in order to gain more experience for the rigorous competition other schools have to offer. The addition of many hard-working and dedicated freshmen also contributes to the overall success of the team.

“Ms. Schottland always encourages us during practices, and during games she always finds what we need to do and what we need to fix, and that really helps us grow as players and grow as a team,” captain and sophomore Taira Asakura said.

In addition to constant practice and playing, coach Natasha Schottland credits the improvement from the previous season to a smaller team and a strong team camaraderie among players. Many players on the team often meet outside of school to build bonds and play outside of school. Since this year has fewer players on the team, Schottland and assistant coach Ardi Safi can work with players either individually or in pairs in order to improve skills more efficiently.

“I’m really proud of [the players]. They’ve overcome a lot of obstacles in terms of team dynamics and getting out of the mindset that tennis is an individual sport, and it’s now a team sport in high school. I’m really proud of them…,” Schottland said.

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Spreading the “Love” of Tennis