For months, an unfilled coaching position was the only thing keeping players from forming the girls varsity tennis team.
Chandra Soucek accepted girls varsity tennis head coach position after former coach Arlene Fitz-Patrick’s resignation.
Team members who met her at tryouts hope her extensive coaching experience will help them improve this season.
“I think she’s very positive and uplifting,” sophomore team member Rishika Jain said. “She’s a little bit strict but nice.”
Sophomore team member Simran Allana agreed.
“I really like her,” Allana said. “From what I’ve seen, she gives good feedback.”
Soucek said she coached tennis.off .and on for around 20 years. She has been playing..tennis. since an early age.
“I played my first tournament when I was nine, and I started playing when I was six,” Soucek said.
She played Division 1 collegiate tennis at San Jose State and the University of Colorado Boulder.
Soucek hopes to help the team understand more not only about tennis, but the principles of playing a sport.
“[I’ve had] a lot of failure and a lot of success,” she said. “[I want them to be] good sports about winning and good sports about losing.”
Soucek said she wants players to prioritize being in the moment when playing.
“I want them all in on the court,” she said. “It’s hard to shut things out, but you’ve got to just try to zero in and concentrate.”
The team consists of 14 players: two juniors, eight sophomores and four freshmen, but no seniors.
“I didn’t really think about [having no seniors],” Soucek said. “I think it just means that we can have tons of growth.”
She said she hopes the underclassmen on the team continue to improve.
“By the time our freshmen are seniors [or] our sophomores are seniors, we’re going to have a sense of depth on our team that we don’t have right now,” Soucek said.
She said she is optimistic about this season.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know the girls better,” Soucek said. “Why they like the game, what brings them out every day.”
She anticipates a good season, despite wins or losses.
“The most important thing is to have fun,” she said. “I want all [the] girls to have fun.”