By Colette de Beus

This year, girls varsity tennis not only ended their league season undefeated, but they claimed the title of Prep League champions and are ranked #1 in the Division 2 for CIF.

Their only loss this year was against Peninsula High School, but the team is quick to point out that it was only their second meet of the season, so the lineup was completely different than it is now.

As for Junior Varsity, they have only lost two meets this entire season: one toWestridge, and once to Poly.

The most challenging match of the varsity season was against Flintridge, but other than that, not many of the competing schools have posed much of a threat. Thisis quite a feat considering the team lost nearly half of its members with the graduating class of 2010.

“The graduation of so many seniors definitely had a drastic effect on the team andon me,” said senior Christina Ling. “I always looked up the grade above me, and I was friends with them, but now that they’re gone I really miss them. This happens every year, for me. I guess you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.”

“Last year’s senior class was really large in tennis, not only by numbers but by influence,” said senior Katie Starke. “They made the team what it was.”

Next year, senior co-captains Madison Webster and Ling will be leaving the team as well.

“I think the team will still be pretty strong and possibly even stronger than itis now with new incoming freshmen,” said Ling. “The team is very young and has lots of time to grow.”

Despite the loss of last year’s seniors, the team also gained a big group of freshmen,including two that have moved up to varsity level since the beginning of the season.

Coach Carolyn Leach is very impressed with the team as a whole this year. “They are very cohesive and supportive of one another, both on and off of the court.  This year’s team has shown a lot of improvement since the beginning of the season in August, and I’m very proud of them.”

“The biggest and scariest moment of the season was in one match when we were missing two of our key starters,” said Ling. Sophomore Montana Morgan was late to the match because she was getting her driver’s license, and junior Madison Sung had injured her arm and was not supposed to play. In the end, they barely beat the other team because Sung ended up playing with her injured arm.

Most members of the team will say that the best part of being on the girls’ tennis team is the team itself.  Because their matches are all off campus, the girls spend lots of time together and have gotten to know each other very well.

“My favorite part of being on the tennis team is by far the team aspect,” said Ling.  “Going to Busters [an icecream shop in Pasadena], having team sleepovers, the car and bus rides home from all of the meets, and bonding over food–all of these were highlights of the season.”

“I honestly don’t know what my favorite part is,” said Starke, “but I do know that for the past four years tennis season has been my favorite time of the year.”