MHS Girls Soft Tennis Team Crowned OIA Champs

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MHS Girls Soft Tennis Team Crowned OIA Champs

This is the third consecutive title for the MHS Girls soft tennis team.

This is the third consecutive title for the MHS Girls soft tennis team.

Photo Credit: MHS Girls Soft Tennis Team

This is the third consecutive title for the MHS Girls soft tennis team.

Photo Credit: MHS Girls Soft Tennis Team

Photo Credit: MHS Girls Soft Tennis Team

This is the third consecutive title for the MHS Girls soft tennis team.

Mina Pecoraro, Reporter

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     On Sept. 21, the MHS girls soft tennis team captured the Oahu Interscholastic Association (OIA) championship title at the 2019-20 OIA Soft Tennis Doubles Championships for the third consecutive time since 2017. The game was held at MHS where they played against players from McKinley, Kalani, Pearl City and Aiea High School.

     “I was filled with so much joy and excitement after pushing through all our matches and finally winning the championship match. My team has been very supportive and we’re really happy for us,” said Sophomore Rozelyn Dizon. 

     The team credited their coaches with helping them succeed and preparing them both mentally and physically. They practiced twice a week and underwent conditioning and lots of drills to train themselves for the strenuous matches. “The coaches helped me get better since it was my first year playing soft tennis and my teammates helped prepare me for all the matches,” said Dizon. 

     The team also credited the senior players with shaping the team and encouraging the members throughout the season. When the captain needed assistance, the seniors were there to help run practices. “I wasn’t the most ‘senior’ person on the team since there were actual seniors on our team, but I have to give them credit because without them, in general, I wouldn’t have been shaped into the person I am now. They (the team) always supported each other and I am proud of that,” said soft tennis captain Junior Richelle Suzuki. 

     Another key factor and rewarding aspect of the team’s success was the camaraderie they built amongst each other as the season progressed. The members bonded with their playing partners and became more comfortable with each other through bonding activities. “We grew closer as a team. It was nice to have the trophy and all but it was nice to have the sense of unity where we together as a whole accomplished something,” said Suzuki.

     This season, the ratio of freshmen to upperclassmen posed a challenge for the team because they had more new members than returning members. because the freshman grew acquainted with the team and improved their skills greatly. “There was a lot of freshman, and many of the team people weren’t that social. They’re just not really as willing to go and say hi to people so I kind of had to integrate people through team bonding. Luckily I kind of knew a lot of the freshman already so that was good,” said Suzuki. 

     Although they faced many challenges throughout the season, they overcame these challenges through hard work and dedication to their sport. The obstacles they faced strengthened the team and made their success more rewarding. “At the beginning it was really tough, because I really thought I wasn’t cut out for this because I made a few losses. It just came with the practice and putting out our entire effort into each practice,” said Suzuki. “I may have started off really bad, but I’m so glad that I kept pushing and not giving up and I’m so happy about the outcome,” added Dizon. 

     In the future, the MHS girls soft tennis team will look to reclaim the OIA title next year.