Order on the court: Q&A with junior varsity and varsity tennis captains


Photo credit: Andrea Frank

Pictured above, the varsity tennis team celebrates an undefeated season in the Liberty League. The Oracle engaged in a Q&A with the captains of JV and varsity tennis, asking them to reflect on their participation on Archer tennis and their latest roles as captains.

By London Sinclair, Maia Alvarez, and Jullie Cach

While school has been in session for a little over two months, the tennis team has spurred quite a racquet this season. Although COVID-19 has created some roadblocks in practices and matches, that didn’t stop the varsity and JV tennis teams from progressing. The Oracle sat down with varsity co-captain Naya Ben-Meir (’22) and JV co-captains, Nina Salomon (’22) and Leah Abazari (’22), to discuss their plans for the season.

What are some of your goals for the rest of the tennis season?

Naya Ben-Meir [NBM]: “For varsity, it is not about winning, it is more about getting as far as we can go and having fun with it. Traditionally, the tennis team is really close and I think for our last year on the team we want to carry on that spirit.”

Leah Abazari [LA]: “I think this is our biggest JV team in as long as I’ve been at Archer. We’re really working hard to bond and also to bond with varsity because we just want to make a cohesive tennis team.”

What advice would you give to your teammates?

Nina Salomon [NS]: “Being present in the moment—showing up to every practice, showing up to every game, just being there for support even if you might not play, and making sure that you’re always giving it 100%.”

[NBM]: “I would say that practice really helps. Practicing your shots, practicing with opponents, and just being alert and ready when you’re playing and treating each shot like it could be your last.”

When COVID-19 hit, you were some of the youngest on the team. Now, coming back, especially after this huge break from competitive tennis, how does it feel to be captain, and what does it mean to you to have this position?

[NS]: “It’s a really big honor to be captain of JV. It just shows that hard work pays off if you put in the time and the effort … and it sets a standard for the other girls on the team of what they should look up to and how they should act when participating.”

[LA]: “Growing up looking at the older girls and always feeling inspired by them has had a big impact on how I approach my role as captain. I know a lot of the girls who came from middle school and now because of COVID, they’re ninth graders, and I know it’s a lot to adjust to a high school team, so I’m just trying to extend a helping hand and not be intimidating.”

What impact do you hope to have on the team by the end of the tennis season?

[NBM]: “I just hope that us having the dedication to the team and having been on the team for so long will inspire the team to continue to thrive. I feel like just even four years ago, the tennis team was much less competitive. It was one of those teams that people didn’t really talk about around campus and I just hope that it continues on and inspires more girls to be on the team and try tennis.”

[LA]: “Even when we’re competing on the tennis court, it’s the girls on your team that helped you get to where you are. Every shot you make, you’ve practiced countless times before with someone on the team, so although it’s an individualized sport, you need your team as your foundation and your support system. I hope the girls remember that.”