The spring sports season has definitely been a wet one and, at times, a snowy one. Vancouver’s out-of-the-ordinary weather really puts a damper on the Girls’ Tennis team, a team who eventually gets to enjoy the sunshine of early spring. “The weather has been a factor this season—a negative factor. It has been moist. That is bad,” says Coach Joel Bieker. Rainwater makes the tennis courts especially slippery, eliminating any chance for the girls to play on them. Their only options are postponement or to manually dry the courts, which is a particularly unpleasant experience.
But the team has been managing well, especially with returning players: seniors Teresa Makar, Kristine Madsen, Erin Roetker, Cheyenne Sutcliffe, and Captain Anna Stice. All four-year, varsity players, these girls lead the team in various ways. “Kristine and Anna are providing traditional team leadership (leading cheers, running fast, offering encouragement) while Erin, Cheyenne, and the rest made us a sweatshirt design,”Coach Bieker explained.
Their season hasn’t quite picked up yet, with only a few matches under their belt, but Captain Anna Stice is optimistic, “We have a solid team and once we get some more practice time in, we should do great. We have a lot of heart.” To keep the mood up, the team uses a beat-up, mismatched radio aptly titled “Ghetto Blaster” during the scant sunny day. All of the team can agree that they all can pull in some wins this season. “We’ve only been on the court seven times this season, but I think we can win a number of maches,” Coach Bieker offers.
The saddest part of the upcoming season is the departure of Stice, Madsen, Roetker, and Sutcliffe, who were friends before tennis and have grown closer because of it. “The four of us came out our freshmen year not really knowing what we were doing but we’ve really grown as players and now it’s a big part of our lives,” Stice says. Coach Bieker feels the same way. “It has been really fun just to play tennis together and start the season, but also time is slipping away. Kind of like the way you feel on the Friday of Spring Break: you still have a weekend, but you also wonder where the week went (and wish you could get it back). I guess I’m just sorry for myself because I will miss them.” But all in all, Girls’ Tennis 2012 should be a pleasant experience for all involved, despite the shuffling of the team.