Girls Tennis Back in ‘Swing of Things’


Lauren Van Gheem, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Notre Dame Girls Tennis is back in the swing of things. The season started on August 19, and the girls have already played in a tournament and a few matches. 

The captains of the team are seniors Caragan Olles and Jaci Brady. Kris Williams is the head coach with the help of assistant coach Rick Remington. The Junior Varsity coach is Notre Dame Academy alumni Liz O’Hearn. 

“The coaches are doing a great job, and I am excited to have them coaching us,” said Brady, number one singles player for the team. 

This year the team consists of 38 members, including 14 potential varsity players and 24 junior varsity players. 

Brady said, “I think it is a great turn out, and I am excited that so many people are interested in playing tennis.” 

Caragan Olles, number one doubles on the team, said, “Our ultimate goal would be to have the opportunity to make our mark in Madison at Team State.”

The team has already encountered a number of challenges this season. Former Coach Steve Burns took a job coaching college tennis a few days before tryouts. 

“I overcame this adversity by staying positive and knowing that whoever ran tryouts would give everyone an equal and fair opportunity,” Brady said.

At the first tournament held on August 23 and 24 the team did fantastic, placing second at the invite. 

“I wasn’t sure what to expect for the first tournament because we have new coaches and new players on varsity,” said Brady. “I went into the tournament with a positive mind set and faith in the team.”

Brady looks forward to future tournaments and sectionals, and she is hoping to make it to state as a team.

“I am looking forward to spending time with my teammates. As cheesy as that sounds, these girls are honestly my second family, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything else,” Olles said. “From traveling to tournaments at 5a.m. to having handstand competitions on the courts after practice, most of my favorite memories of high school come from the tennis team. I also love watching some girls, such as Lauren Van Gheem, grow in their tennis abilities and climb the ranks from JV to Varsity.”

Olles and Brady have both worked hard this season to be role models for the rest of the team.  

“Tennis is a super fun sport to watch once you learn how the game works,” said Brady. “I think everyone should be exposed to it because it takes a lot of skills, and it is a lifelong sport.  Also I am sure you will have at least one friend on the team that you want to support.”

“Our girls put in a lot of effort and dedication year round in practicing and bring their all to every match. It may not be the same as a football game with cheers and themes, but the energy of the players is just as strong,” said Olles.