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Year-round tennis in the works

As the young tennis team finished the preseason, team members looked forward to the West Sierra League matches with high hopes even as the promise of year-round tennis may become a reality.

“”The preseason schedule was the toughest schedule put together for us all year,”” Dave Carte, head tennis coach, said. “”This year we have a very young team because most of last years top players graduated.””

Besides the young new team, Carte is coaching his first year on campus.

“”I have been coaching for 23 years,”” Carte said. “”This is my first year coaching at Fresno Christian. It is going to be a good year but it will take a lot of work. The new courts are great and I like the way they are laid out.””

While the preseason was a challenge, many think the league games will not be.

“”The preseason games were a lot harder then our league games will be,”” Chris Burford, ’04, said. “”We played Clovis High which was a really big challenge because we’re a Division Five school and they’re a Division One school. Despite that, I’m really looking forward to the league games.”

Tennis on campus has always been a seasonal sport. This year not only brought a new addition to the coaching staff but also plans for year-round tennis are in the works.

“I would like to make more out of this than just a seasonal sport for both the girls and boys team,” Carte said. “I want to have leagues during the summer as well but it depends on the kids.”

Excitement and a desire for a year-round tennis club is not only within Carte’s grasp, but the tennis players are also asking for it.

“A year-round league would be really good for our team and our school,” Ryan Cain, ’03, said. “Even though I would only be able to be involved for one year I think it would be good for the rest of the team to work on getting better year around.”

Not only the men’s tennis team feels this way, but there is growing interest with the female team as well.

“A lot of us would really like it if we had a year around tennis club at school,” Krystal Kitahara, ’04, said. “It would help us all improve for our next season. I think it would be really fun because we could play with our friends on the team and not have to go to country clubs around town it would be at school.”

Many team members miss the support of their fellow students during their home matches.

“Most of the people that come to cheer us on and watch the games are parents,” Matt Tatarian, ’05, said. “Some of our friends come and watch but it would be cool if we could have a lot of people like the nut house to be there.”

Coach Carte agreed with his players and said a few fans would make a big difference on the courts especially during tight matches.

“We need to have more people from our school than the other school at home games,” Carte said. “Everybody should come and bring their friends to support our team.”

While a small percent of the student body attends the home games, the ones who do enjoy every minute of it.

“I really like going and watching them play tennis,” Sam Babcock, ’02, said. “It’s hard though because I never know who is playing when. The courts are really nice for both the girls and the guys season.”

For those who would like to cheer for the men’s tennis team, their next home match will open the West Sierra League play on April 2 against Tranquility and April 9 against Caruthers. Both matches begin at 3:30 p.m. The team is 2-2 in preseason play with two matches rained out.

For more information about the tennis club, please contact Coach Carte through the office.” “Carli Albrechtson, Retired photographer” “While the tennis team struggled in preseason, including a 8-1 loss to Clovis High, the team has rebounded and is now 2-0 in West Sierra League play. Chris Burford, ?04, above, plays in the number six singles slot on varsity.” “” “” “

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