The Student news source for West Shore Junior/Senior High School

The Roar

The Student news source for West Shore Junior/Senior High School

The Roar

The Student news source for West Shore Junior/Senior High School

The Roar

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Girls’ tennis navigates new coach, new dynamics

Sophomore Arya Jathal aims at her target, a green tennis ball descending from the sky, and takes a right-hand swing hard enough to hear a crack in the air. The ball goes over the net to reach the other side where only a few other girls are practicing.

Jathal said a lot of the girls quit mainly because of school and time management.

“It is very hard to manage homework and play sports at the same time,” she said. “Also, because there’s a wide range of ages on the team, some people don’t get along with each other.”

Tennis coach Shelly Rosseau has coached in Brevard County for 30 years. She came from Viera High School’s tennis team, which won districts throughout the six years she coached there. They were semifinalists in state last year. This is her first year at West Shore.

Rosseau set the maximum number of players this year to ten because of limited facilities.

“Because we are so strong I can set the rules that [players do not play if they do not show up to practices],” Rosseau said. “When players miss for different reasons, those other weaker players that aren’t at the top of the ladder do get a chance to play. I encouraged the girls who did not make the team [by giving] them guidance in going to another place that was having other high school players play in a league.”

Rosseau said the team is a work in progress.

“We have solid players that are really strong,” Rosseau said. “We’re constantly trying to figure out where our attributes are, what players are on, what players are doing well at the time, getting everybody to practice [and] committing to the team.”

Senior Tehya Bahsoun was a varsity player from 7th to 10th grade with history including district and regional championships. Bahsoun said that she saw the tennis environment in a negative light while having a few reasons for quitting.

“First, I don’t really love the sport,” Bahsoun said. “Besides that, I think the environment is just bad. It was always awkwardly tense, and I was not a fan of the new coach. I was a good player, but I felt unappreciated; it did not feel supportive at all.”

Bahsoun said that after leaving she felt more relaxed.

“There was so much drama that it was just a headache to remain there,” Bahsoun said. “I haven’t seen any cons to my quitting, and I don’t feel any regret or feeling of missing out. It wasn’t bad or anything upsetting, but I certainly think it could’ve been done better or at least been more productive. At practices, me and other experienced players also felt quite trapped as the coach often had us practice for very basic drills almost for complete beginners.”

Jathal said she thinks Coach Rosseau is a positive influence.

“[Coach Rosseau] lets us run their practices, which makes us feel more in control,” Jathal said. “I also feel that other players on the team help the lower lines grow as well. I think we should be training more endurance and conditioning. It gets really hot during season, and a lot of times it’s hard to keep up with her game.”

Rosseau said there is a lot of potential in team.

“I think this is a great group of ladies- probably one of the most talented groups I’ve ever coached,” Rosseau said. “Hopefully we will peak at the right time before our district tournament – which is the most important play that we’ll have. Leading up to that, I think we’re building and getting stronger every match that we play.”

For Bahsoun, the atmosphere of West Shore’s tennis was unique.

“It feels supportive at times and other times it feels quite the opposite,” Bahsoun said. “Though we competed as a team, it often felt like people cared more about competition with each other rather than the success of the team as a whole.”

Rosseau said that the team has to unite as one unit to prevent animosity. The positions in the tennis team include two lines in singles and doubles respectively.

“Sometimes tennis gets taken as a single, independent player sport,” Rosseau said. “We just need more time to come together. The weakest players are as important as the [top] player. [The players] said they did not want to challenge each other for [positions]. We agreed as a team that we would challenge [for placement] twice in the season: once at the very beginning, and once before our district play starts.”

Jathal said tennis is an overlooked sport.

“It is much harder than people think it is because it involves a lot of stamina and mental strength,” she said. “The atmosphere on the tennis court is more competitive because it is a one-on-one sport. There is sometimes unhealthy competition, and things get a little tense on the team. I do feel that our team is the most polite and mature team [out of the school’s sports].”

Rosseau said that she thinks tennis is a gateway to being a productive person in general.

“You have good qualities in tennis as it is in any sport: dedication, discipline, practice, and teamwork,” Rosseau said. “It’s not just about winning, but it’s about growing as a person and learning things about yourself and others. You want students to [think] tennis is a sport that they can play the rest of their life, and [they should determine] what their weaknesses and strengths are.”

Jathal said she made strong bonds with her teammates, which plays a major role at her practices.

“I personally really enjoyed working with the tennis team, specifically the top five players,” Jathal said. “I think that we have a very strong lineup and [that] everyone has a great skill to their game.”

 

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About the Contributor
Ella Dorfman, Editor in Chief
Hi, I’m Ella! This is my third year on staff. I am so excited to carry on the torch this year and to continue to grow as a journalist. My favorite stories to cover are news and features.