The Cavaliers Tennis Team Have An Ace Up Their Sleeve

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Michael Evelyn

The Coral Gables tennis team get ready for their first match of the season against Miami Beach High.

Michael Evelyn, Staff Writer

Heading into the new season, the Coral Gables Cavaliers tennis team has just played their first match of the season against Miami Beach High School. Prior to COVID-19, the team was at a great pace, making it to the district championships. However, due to the pandemic, the team had to call off their season early which was a brutal blow to say the least. But having a fresh start on their hands, the Cavaliers had high hopes of replicating their success from the prior year.

Getting on the right track to begin the season was a challenge, however, as the team had suffered a tremendous loss in the form of losing their previous head coach, as well as some players too. The boys’ team last year consisted of seven players, three of which were seniors at the time and have since graduated. While the team may have lost three incredible players, they have also gained two new ones for the season.

For the last three years, the boys’ team has been the same in players and strengths, meaning other schools eventually become accustomed to everyone’s play style and would be able to figure out how to beat the Cavaliers. However, the two new players have entirely different games from the rest of the team, which makes it difficult for the coaches and players to figure out their weaknesses during the matches.

One of the new recruits is named Henry Stroller who is a freshman and moved to Miami from New York. Stroller uses a western-style grip which allows him to hit shots that other players who do not use the grip cannot, giving him a notable advantage. The other new player is senior Javier Ribas who brings great enthusiasm towards the sport and the team. With everything being ready, they entered into their face game against Miami Beach.

Their game against Miami Beach did not result in the outcome the team would have liked, but even after the close 4-3 loss, the players held their heads high as the year was still young. The team is still optimistic about their chances of winning.

I think our team is solid this year, especially with two new players on the team. I think we should be able to make it pretty far this year. ”

— senior Antione Hernandez

The Lady Cavaliers tennis team has also improved tremendously since last year. Oftentimes at these matches, the other schools such as Miami Beach and Ferguson do not have the right roster to combat the team, giving the Cavaliers a greater chance at beating their competition. The Lady Cavaliers tennis team has five dependable players who are able to beat many of the other schools’ teams. Because of this, they have a great chance to advance to the district competitions along with the boys’ team.

“I feel like our chances of winning this season are high. I feel like our girls’ team is stronger than it has been in a while so I am excited to see how we do,” sophomore Avery Felix said.

Both the boys’ and the girls’ teams have high expectations for this season and everyone is in great shape. Despite the lack of practice and training time the team has had due to COVID-19, the players have excellent chemistry with one another which helps with team competitions. With one of their hardest matches coming up next week against Palmetto High School, the Cavaliers’ tennis team is hopeful that they will be able to overcome their setbacks and get a victory under their belts.