Girls tennis captains tear up the court
Four new captains were chosen to lead Northwood’s girls’ varsity tennis team this fall. The captains are seniors Kerisa Lin and Carrisa Leung and juniors Megan Mansonhing and Shweta Kumar—all of whom are leading the team for the first time. After much careful consideration, this crucial decision was made by Northwood’s varsity tennis coach John Tichy.
Kumar has showcased her enthusiastic spirit and underlying persistence in her first year of being a varsity captain. She has been practi-cing tennis day in, day out ever since she was a little girl to get to the point where she is today. She could not have done it alone though, as she has had many people support her along the way.
“I saw Serena Williams playing tennis on TV and begged my mom to put me in classes,” Kumar said. “Watching my sister play tournaments is what inspired me to start playing competitively.”
Her sister, Shreya Kumar, who was also a former Northwood student and Varsity tennis player, served as an inspiration to her as throughout the entire six years that Kumar has been playing. She was not the only person who got her to where she is today though.
“When I was younger, my mom would travel with me all over the country and sacrificed her time to drive me to practice everyday,” Kumar said. “Without her push, I wouldn’t be half the tennis player I am today.”
With her mom’s push, Kumar was placed in the nation’s top 50 rankings of her division in the nation as well as part of top 15 in Southern California, all by the time she was 13. She is proud of her accomplishments and achievements as well as being able to be part of Northwood’s tennis team, and hopes to have a successful and memorable season with her team.
Although involved in various different aspects of school life, Leung has stood out on the tennis courts through her definite leadership as her first year of being a Varsity captain, even despite many hardships to reach this point in her tennis career.
“During my freshman year, I tore three ligaments on my left ankle,” Leung said. “When you tear a ligament, it can never recover unless you have surgery and since then, I’ve had to be very careful to not overwork my ankle so I don’t sprain my ankle any more.”
Even with this injury, Leung continued to play as she was not willing to give up tennis, but with an ankle brace ever since. At the same time she did however, expose herself to different parts of the school such as the VAPA program. Through these various activities she was able to make plenty of cherishable memories.
“Last season, our varsity team made it to the second round of state,” Leung said. “Although the bus ride up to Fresno was long and tiring, I had a great time bonding with my team.”
“My two coaches at school, Coach Tichy and Coach Banks, really support my tennis career and give me a lot of pointers on things I should improve during the season,” Leung said.
Mansonhing has been a great team player, helping her underclassmen teammates hone their skills. Mansonhing has been playing tennis since she was ten, and began playing in school tournaments since she was thirteen.
“I love tennis; it’s so mentally engaging and requires a lot of mental stability so whenever I play, I’m super focused, and when I perform well, the end is always uplifting even though I may not win,” Mansonhing said.
Other than becoming a source of stress relief, tennis has taught Mansonhing several lessons that go beyond the game of tennis. Through teammate interaction and becoming a team captain for the first time, Mansonhing strongly believes that tennis has taught her the true meaning of teamwork and leadership.
“In tennis, especially doubles, you have to be really flexible with the lineup and who you play with, so you learn how to be a team player,” Mansonhing said. “And since tennis requires a lot of your own mental strength, having your team cheer you on makes it so enjoyable.”
Mansonhing hopes to see her team break into CIF prelims this year and succeed under the leadership of herself and the other three captains.
Ranked in the top 200 in the nation, Lin has consistently managed to stand out with her impressive plays and record. Lin practices on her own for over four hours a day but credits most of her success to Northwood’s varsity tennis coach, John Tichy.
“Tichy has helped me become a more understanding person,” Lin said. “By building a bond with him, I realize how much work he puts into the team and that has raised my respect for all coaches alike.”
Lin gets her inspiration to play tennis from her father, who was a decorated professional tennis player that encouraged her to start playing tennis at the young age of seven. With her father’s positive attitude, experience, and guidance, Lin immediately began to experience success taking the first in the Junior Satellite Tournament in the year of 2009.
“My dad watched most of my matches. He saw me win and lose but he never gave up on me. His confidence was really what motivated me to improve,” Lin said.
Lin has been working hard to prepare for the league and looks forward to leading girls’ tennis on an undefeated season.