Middle school ‘tennis family’ ends successful season


Photo credit: Amelia Mathis

Members of the middle school tennis team lean against the wall waiting to play their next match. Both playing groups, green team and purple team, made it to playoffs for the first time in Archer history.

The middle school tennis team had a record-breaking season, with both the purple and green teams making it to the playoffs for the first time ever. The purple team ended in third place in the league, while the green team ended in sixth place. The season ended on April 26, followed by the team playoffs, which began on the following Monday, April 29.

At the beginning of the season, 40 players tried out for the team, causing coaches Paula Feigenbaum and Jennifer Berman to split the players into two teams: purple and green.

“They both get the time with the coaches to focus on their strokes, [and] they both improve drastically throughout the season,” eighth-grader and captain of the purple team Rose Sarner said. 

A lesson that the tennis coaches taught their players was the importance of how they act during matches.

“The coaches really implemented this idea that there always going to be people better than you or worse than you, but that’s not really what mattered at Archer,” eighth-grader Delara Tehranchi, another captain, said. “It doesn’t matter about the success, but how we acted and how we put ourselves out there.” 

In the playoffs, the two teams played each other, with the purple winning against the green. The purple team moved on to play Geffen Academy and lost. To bond and support each other, captains Tehranchi and Sarner created a buddy system where members of the purple team mentored players from the green team.

“We realized that at the beginning of the year…some of the girls were a little shy. It’s scary because they were trying out, and there was only a certain amount of people that made the team,” Tehranchi said. “That was a big thing that not only me and Rose, but the entire team tried — to…make people feel more included.” 

Tehranchi and Sarner, who played as doubles partners, qualified for the individual playoffs, among other players.

“[The individuals didn’t have] the pressure of impacting your team because it was primarily your individual effort,” Tehranchi said. 

Audrey Chang from the purple team made it to the semi-finals in the individual playoffs, losing against the eventual winner of the tournament from St. Matthews. The other players that made the individuals were singles player Annabelle Chang and doubles team Emma Frank and Maya Bajaj, along with Sarner and Tehranchi from the purple team.

Sarner said team’s Monday practices were memorable because both the green and purple teams practiced together.

“Every Monday, we have a day where we share from [our] journal [a] ‘Player of the Week’ kind of thing,” Sarner said. “It’s really a great experience for all the teams to be together… because you get to play games against the other team, you have inner-scrimmages between [the] teams.”

Both captains are “thankful” to have been a part of the tennis “family” this season.

“Coach Paula and Coach Jennifer [are] genuinely the teachers, the faculty members at Archer that I look up to the most and have the biggest connection with, and I’m so thankful that I got to meet them,” Tehranchi said. “They’re genuinely the people that I go to when I ever need something so… I wouldn’t call it a team — it’s genuine, it’s a community.”