The Voices of Girls Tennis


Previously on “Girls Tennis Strives for Success Through COVID-19”, I had written a spotlight on our girls tennis coach and this season but, this time it’s all about the girls! I conducted an interview with our sophomores, Sofia Larios and Katherine Reyes along with senior, Diana Alcantara. I asked them how COVID-19 was affecting their season and how they solved their struggles during this pandemic.

Q: How does it feel to be going to matches in a different way?

Sofia: “Going through matches in a different way has shown me that you could still have the same feeling of excitement and happiness… it just proved to me you could still have fun while having the restrictions.”

Diana: “Usually, during our matches, we’d get to know the other teams by introducing one another but COVID rules say that we can’t do that anymore & that kind of sucks. Oh and we have to take a big bus for away games since our season is mixed with the boy’s season.”

Katherine: “Honestly it feels kinda weird. I’m still getting used to the idea that we have to social distance during practices and matches and we have to wear masks now, I’ve gotten used to being close to the girls during practices and games because we like joking around with each other and we still do during practices and games but it’s different now.”

Larios finds ways to think positively about this pandemic and says that she still has fun even though there are restrictions in the way. On the other hand, Alcantara and Reyes feel discouraged from the barriers. They’ve expressed how they weren’t able to do the things that they used to do last season. Alcantara also mentions that traveling to matches is different as both the Girls and Boys Tennis season is at the same time.

Q: How has COVID affected you and possibly other teammates?

Sofia: “It’s affected us because we have to be more cautious of what’s happening around us. It’s affected me and possibly other team mates because of them having to wear a mask while playing.”

Diana: “COVID-19 put a pause to me & my teammates playing season. For COVID regulations, we wear masks & distance ourselves from each other and to be honest, it holds up back from our true potential and from being close with one another.”

Katherine: “COVID has definitely affected my mental health by bringing it pretty low and it’s a struggle to keep up with everything like myself and school and sometimes I can’t go to practice because I have to help out more at home now especially with my sister and it’s pretty much the same with my teammates, we all have similar issues especially during COVID whether it’s going to games or practice or just in general. COVID has definitely affected us in some way.”

All of the girls seem to agree that masks are a new addition to the matches and something to get used to. Reyes is inclusive by saying that their teammates and others have been affected in one way or another. Larios and Alcantara are disappointed by the new aspects of the game and the things around them. Alcantara adds that it’s disheartening that the COVID-19 regulations are a setback from bonding with other teammates and their strong ability to play.

Q: How did you deal with the hardships of COVID?

Sofia: “There’s moments where I want to give my teammates a huge hug when they win a set or something along those lines… but then I remember the restrictions we have… it’s so hard having to keep our hands to ourselves how kindergarteners say.”

Diana: “I basically dealt with COVID-19 by praying and being as clean as I could be.”

Katherine: “I asked for help from my girlfriend because she’s one of the very few people that knows me best and knows how to help me when I can’t quite help myself. She makes sure that I’m taken care of and that I’m doing good and she will advise me to stay home and take a break from practice if I really need it. I’ve been listening to music and doodling and painting to help keep my mind distracted if it’s getting overwhelming. There have been a few times where I’ve had panic attacks during practice and luckily my girlfriend was there to help me through it. My coaches were very supportive when it happened and they checked up on me and made sure I was okay and they let me sit out for however long I needed.”

Even with COVID-19 being in the way of their season, they find a way to stay safe and be positive. Larios reminisces on what she learned from when she was younger about having to keep our hands to ourselves. Reyes and Alcantara find their own ways to help cope by using creative outlets. 

Q: What/who keeps you motivated?

Sofia: “Probably my older sister, she was a sophomore on varsity… so I expect to be as good as she was.”

Diana: “My love for the game keeps me motivated.”

Katherine: “The people that keep me motivated the most I would have to say is my girlfriend, the tennis girls and my little sister.”

Larios and Reyes relate to each other by having a support system from their sisters and the people around them. Whereas, Alcantara finds motivation from tennis itself. Even with many ways to stay motivated, the girls are staying hopeful during this year.

Although there are ups and downs throughout the school year and the season, they still stay optimistic to fight through the pandemic. Whether they’re winning or not, these girls are winning in their hearts. To give support to our LHS Tennis team, you can cheer them on at their home games!