Team utilizes no-cut system

By Emily Johnson

Katie Linsey, reporter

With 38 players on the girls tennis team, determining which players are on JV and varsity is not an easy process for the coaches. The players compete in a series of matches called challenges to determine their spot on the team.

Coaches Casey Kuhn and Sarah Haub decided that the tennis team was going to be no-cut, and they needed a fair system.

“As long as [the players] are wanting to be a committed part of the team, regardless of ability level, we want them on our team,” Kuhn said.

Sophomore player Kara Lewis likes the team’s use of the no-cut system.

“I like the tennis team being no-cut because it gives everyone a chance to participate and a great opportunity to try something new,” Lewis said.

The challenges that determine who is on JV and varsity consist of a four game set. The winning player moves up on the challenge list and plays another winning player. If a winning player loses, she moves down on the list.

Senior varsity player Shannon McGraw thinks the challenges are a good idea.

“The only way to know a girl’s ability is when she is put in a game situation, such as a challenge,” McGraw said.

After everyone plays and the rankings are chosen, the top players are varsity and the rest are JV. At the end of the season, the top eight to 10 players letter as varsity. The coaches choose the strongest players to participate in regionals.

The number of players on the team affects playing time. Varsity players always play, while JV rotates.

Since there are no cuts, some players that have joined the team this year have never played tennis before. To teach them how to play, the coaches start with the basics such as hitting the racket.

“We only have two coaches and 38 girls, so it’s hard to get one-on-one time with them. We normally put a veteran with a beginner to help teach them,” Kuhn said.

According to freshman JV player Hannah Hilton, the teaching process was successful.

“It was easy [to learn] because I was transitioning from volleyball to tennis,” Hilton said. “The hardest part was learning how to keep score.”

Watch the varsity tennis team play Monday, Sept. 26 at home.

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