Tennis serves up lessons

Belle Tennis team reaches out to children and members of the community

By Sydney Faison
On October 26, 2018

Photo by Axel Marcenaro: Valentina Gonzalez, sophomore, and Adrea Ramic, freshman, get their group of girls ready for tennis drills and games. Gonzalez comes from Colombia, while Ramic comes to the team from Belgium.

The Belle tennis team provided a free kids’ clinic and adult pro-am on Oct. 20, at the Bentwood Country Club.

The purpose of the clinic was to teach kids about tennis and welcome more supporters for the team. The clinic was also a way to give back to the community.

The participants got the opportunity to engage in pro-am matches. The college players were the pros in this scenario.

"A big reward would be seeing the players become what they think can be on the tennis court and academically," Chris Bizot, head coach, said. "I look forward to seeing them reach their potential and accomplishments after working hard for them."

The team’s main goal is to be number one in the Lone Star Conference championship.

Valentina Gonzalez, sophomore and Andrea Ramic, freshman, both have goals to become professional tennis players.

"The moment when there is a tie in the last match and our teammate wins is the best feeling," Virginie Becht, sophomore, said. "To win with teammates that have become like family makes me thankful and grateful."

Members of the team discussed the challenges they have to overcome.

Junior Yasmine Ansari said the biggest challenge for the team is when tournaments get cancelled due to weather.

Gonzalez and Ramic said the balance between academics and tennis is difficult.

At times there was a language barrier issue in the past, since most teammates came from across the world. Luckily, overtime everyone has adapted to each other and been able to come together as a team and understand one another.

The team discussed what strategies help them win a match.

"You have to trust yourself [and] your coach and mentally stay strong," Becht said.

Zoë Gubbels, sophomore, earned recognition as the Lone Star Conference Sportsmanship Player of the Year.

Gubbels said the team tries to take care of their bodies and keep their energy levels high and that if they work hard now it will pay off for the upcoming season.

Gubbels and Becht were recognized on the Honorable Mention All-Conference Doubles team.

"The most rewarding part about being on the team is getting to see my team every day, listening to their encouragement, having the same goals and working hard to improve ourselves and others." Ansari said.

Most of the players said strategies are normally determined by who they play against and finding out their weaknesses and strengths.

Food and drinks were served during the event.

Participants also received goodie bags.

The team’s first match at home will be Feb. 2 against Texas Wesleyan University.

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