Adversity encountered in Districts

Girls Tennis compete in the first round of district games


The Spartan tennis squad traveled to Francis Howell North on Saturday, October 1st to compete in the District playoffs. Riding high on the emotions from the GAC tournament, Francis Howell Central encountered some bumps in the road in the first attempt at the district matches.  

Seniors Maddie Gunnell and Jennifer Ferry were able to move on and compete in state.  Unfortunately, freshman McKenzie Jones and senior Haley Anderson fell short and were knocked out.

Senior Angel Ikeda almost advanced out of her singles bracket, but since her match was split over two days. She didn’t feel fully prepared.

Angel Ikeda said, “I felt like I lost the momentum I had going. I lost the 1st set and then won the 2nd set, so I felt like I had the upper hand in the next set, but since we had to move it to the next day I felt like I had to start over, and that really threw me off.”

Ikeda’s sister, sophomore Tori Ikeda made it to the semifinals, but unfortunately couldn’t overcome Fort Zumwalt East.

Tori Ikeda said, “At first, districts were pretty easy but by the second match it was a bump in the road.  We won our doubles but I lost my singles.  My sister, Angel, almost won her last match.  She lost the first set, won the second set, but lost her third set that was moved to the next day.”

Although happy, there is still room for improvement.  Angel Ikeda believes that taking 2nd overall wasn’t the best that they could do.

Angel Ikeda said, “I think we were very excited.  I feel like we could’ve taken first if we would’ve just pushed those extra games a little bit more but I feel that overall everyone was very happy with the result and I don’t think anybody was upset about it.”

Taken for what it was, it truly was an accomplishment to trump one of the rival schools.  Anyone who saw how the girls played could see that they left everything out on the court that day and even with stuff to work on, the team looks promising this year.

“As a team, we all gave it our all.  I kind of went into the match against North thinking I was going to lose and that’s what happened,” said Tori Ikeda.

Tennis is a very mental sport as well as a physical one.  Having the right mentality is quite important going into a match.

“Having the right mentality is probably more important than having the actual skill of playing the sport. Tennis is strange in the way that you have to be mentally stronger than your opponent. That’s something I didn’t realize when I originally started playing the game,” said Angel Ikeda.

Thanks to their success in the GAC tournament, the tennis squad gained valuable confidence going into their district playoffs.  The true measure of the team will be seen here as the girls prepare to begin the final test of the season.