—Anni Zhang ’21
Girls’ Varsity Tennis team ended their season with an amazing record of 12-2. They are tied with Groton at second place in the ISL. Coach Behnke, Coach Caitlyn, and the girls all worked very hard throughout the season. Their efforts were rewarded with this successful outcome. The roster includes the senior captains Reevie Fenstermacher ‘19 and Rosanna Zhao ‘19, as well as players Tate Frederick ‘21, Leila Frederick ‘21, Anni Zhang ‘21, Emma Simon ‘21, Frances Hornbostel ‘21, Ryley Holmes ‘21, and Lowell Fenstermacher ‘22.
Although tennis is a racquet sport, the St. Mark’s Girls tennis team truly demonstrated their collaborative efforts as every player prioritized the team’s success over individual accomplishments. There were always cheers and words of encouragement exchanged between teammates around the courts, and the positive energy never died out even in difficult conditions such as harsh weather or long bus-rides. The team’s top player, Leila Frederick ’21, commented that every players’ mental toughness was the key to such a successful season. The valuable and lasting team-spirit demonstrated by these tennis players were elements that contributed significantly to their wins as well.
There were many highlights throughout the season, but the most noteworthy match was no-doubt the girls’ win against Milton Academy. This was the first time that St. Mark’s has ever beaten Milton in history. Although the girls won with the score of 10-5, it was definitely one of the most competitive matches all season. Coach Behnke remarked that it was “truly one of my most memorable moments as a coach at St. Mark's.” With numbers three, four, and five singles winning both of their sets, St. Mark’s needed just one more point to win the match. At this point number six singles, number two and number three doubles were also able to take their sets thus securing the win for St. Mark’s.
Other highlights include the team’s wins against Thayer Academy and Groton Academy, two additional historical wins since St. Mark’s has not beaten these teams in at least 14 years.
In addition to their amazing record, the team’s dynamic this year has also been well-balanced with different types of players and personalities. Captain Reevie Fenstermacher ‘19 said, “the team chemistry was the best I have seen in three years.” The players bonded not only on the courts but also over team dinners in the the dining hall as the team gathers around a shared table almost every night during the season. These fun times are what made girls varsity tennis such a special team this year!