The Chieftain

The Chieftain

In Depth Sports Article: Girl’s Varsity Tennis Star

Samir Parwani, Reporter

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The Girl’s Varsity Tennis team has had it’s fair share of ups and downs this season, however, there are certain players on the team that stick out significantly. The captain of the team, Neelima Jyothiraj has achieved many victories and personal feats in not only this current season but the previous two as well. As a freshman she started playing in third singles, as a sophomore she played second singles leading up to now, where Neelima currently plays first singles and has a personal record of 9-3.

Neelima also ranked MVP last year, and has had the best record on the team all three years of her playing the sport. Neelima is also the first girl to qualify for states in the past five years! Neelima continues being an exceptional athlete despite the varsity team as a whole being 3 and 10, but Neelima is certain that that will not stop the team from striving for greatness.

Neelima explains her love of not only the sport but of the team saying, “The girls on the team are super encouraging and supportive of each other; we all create such a positive environment for all of us to play and become better, I honestly really love spending time with them.” One girl in particular is Shivani Patel, a sophomore, who plays alongside Neelima on the team.

I love the team, the girls are so supportive and are the best to sing on the bus with, I’m really going to miss playing with them.”

— Neelima Jyothiraj

“Neelima is a very committed player with lots of energy, she has skills like no other”, says Shivani, in regards to her fellow teammate.

The best athletes on the team have qualified for states, and as for Neelima, who has individually qualified for states herself, played her first few rounds of the state tournament the first week of October. Players need to win at least 60% or three-fifths of their individual matches to qualify for individual singles in states. Neelima made the cut easily ending with a 75% win.

Neelima played at states with an injury, she explained her situation saying, “[In] the first few rounds, I [realized] I shouldn’t have played anyway because I had a swollen knee and I’ve been limping all week. I was hopeful enough to keep playing. I kept playing as I was just happy enough that I made it to states in the first place!” For GMCs, however, Neelima persisted until she was a quarter of the way through as she was the eighth seed.

The school’s tennis season is coming to a close and for Neelima this means she’ll go back to playing on the USTA (United States Tennis Association) season. Even though the PHS season is coming to an end she will enjoy every last moment she has with her team before it’s over.

“I love the team, the girls are so supportive and are the best to sing on the bus with, I’m really going to miss playing with them.”

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In Depth Sports Article: Girl’s Varsity Tennis Star