Tennis Team Grows in Camaraderie Despite Pandemic Restrictions


Will Drake, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

NDA Tennis is back in full swing. Even though their schedule has changed, their spirit has not.

On August 17 the FRCC decided to change all conference games to the spring.

That made the Tritons’ schedule change drastically, causing them to lose eight varsity and jv matches in an already shortened season.

The Tritons had to begin two weeks later than they could in past seasons.

Despite the challenges, the pandemic did help the team grow, said senior Rachel Van Hefty.

“The season has been going great even during Corona. It was a big group adjustment and took some getting used to, but it gave us all something in common and made us gain an appreciation to still be able to practice together. Overall, I think we have grown a lot not only in tennis but also as friends and teammates.”

Head Coach Summer May discussed the challenge of the pandemic.

“Covid-19 has altered how we approach practices and matches,” said the coach who played tennis at NDA as Summer LaValley. “All student athletes must have temp checks and Covid screening before attending practice.  Coaches and spectators are required to wear masks.” 

“The players do not need to wear masks during high-activity practice or matches, but they do wear masks during team meetings and whenever they aren’t on the tennis courts.” 

“We have hand sanitizer on all courts,” continued the coach. “Doubles partners can no longer high-five during matches, and opponents no longer shake hands at the completion of their match.”

The toughest adjustment, according to Van Hefty, “Is having to practice and play in smaller groups. There are 45 girls, and it is difficult to balance out the safe number of girls at a time. We have still become close as a team despite these challenges, so not being able to be physically there for each other at every event is  hard for all of us.” 

Coach May echoed the senior’s comment.  

Although there have been many changes due to Covid-19, the game of tennis and ‘camaraderie of team’ have not changed. And to me, that is what matters most.”