Tennis team dominates district


Reagan Zuniga

CROSS COURT: Senior Arik Suez sprints to keep the ball from going out-of-bounds in a match against Westlake. He said he has really enjoyed seeing the team grow and improve this year.

Reagan Zuniga, Reporter

The tennis team played to impress at the district playoffs held on October 7, and they  overcame several challenges to advance to the final round.

The first match played in the district playoffs was against Hays and was a 10-1 win for the Dawgs.

“It was nice to play Hays in the first round because we’re fortunate to have a deeper, more talented roster than them and there’s not a lot of pressure on us,” tennis coach James Dammann said. “It allows us to knock off some rust before we play against the high[er] level teams.”

After beating Hays, the team faced Westlake in the semi-finals. The match would determine if Bowie made it to the finals and  serve as payback to when Westlake beat the team earlier in the season.

“I firmly believe that we are at that level to compete with Westlake,” senior varsity tennis player Carlos Canepa said. “I think that my mindset was just to play as if it’s any other match…but I have to give it all I had.”

By working hard and following Canepa’s lead, Bowie was able to win the match 10-8.

“I feel as the team really went to work and didn’t [focus on] the results, but on our job,” Canepa said. “With that attitude and determination we were able to come up with a win.”

Seniors like Canepa and Arik Suez felt especially rewarded after the big win because it was their first time beating Westlake in all their years at Bowie.

“We just have a bunch of players this year that work really well together and in doubles, [so have been] playing really well.” Suez said.

Canepa and Suez are leaders on the team because of their experience and high rankings, and they are proud of the team’s accomplishments this year.

“Everything [has] really been building up to this over the past few years, and I think this year it just really came together well,” Suez said. “Over the years, we’ve all learned to play with our respective partners. Some of us have new partners and we’re playing different positions, and everybody’s really settling into that.”

Dammann noted how the team’s hard work during long practices both in and outside of school have allowed them to grow as players and improve their skills.

“The team improved a lot over the season,” Dammann said. “They’ve been playing with the same partners, and all that repetition let them understand what other players are doing on the court before they’re going to do it and they communicate well. We’ve had a lot of really great teams in the past, but I think we might be [deeper]on the roster this year which allowed us to compete at the higher level.”

The teams relationship outside of the sport has strengthened the bond between different players, which has led to improved teamwork on the court.

“I would say investing in the friendships that we have within the team is critical, because that way we can have good chemistry,” Canepa said. “If I play doubles it’s especially important to have a good relationship with them outside the court as well. That way we can really click and connect on the court. It also gives a good team environment and helps to cheer each other on.”

Dammann’s high expectations can be reflected in the tennis team as a whole, for Canepa values the team’s future success even though he is graduating this year.

“I hope that the team can continue bringing the energy and intensity we have been this year,” Canepa said. “I feel it’s something we’ve [lacked in the past]. I hope next year [the] attitude and commitment to the sport and [team] remains [the same].”