The Cranford girls tennis team consists of several players who are
just playing tennis competitively for the first time, according to the team’s
new coach, Lisa Williams.
However, the inexperience has not stopped the team from winning its first two season matches, including Monday’s win against Rahway, 4-1.
Williams, a first-year teacher of an Intermediate class of students with Autism at Hillside Avenue School, has taken over as coach of the after previously coaching junior varsity in another district.
“It’s exciting for me to be coaching at the varsity level,” she said. “It’s all about strategy.”
Her goal is for the girls to take more risks this season, rather than playing it safe.
The girls predominantly do not come from a strong tennis background, Williams explained, but they are definitely motivated.
Coach Williams would of course love a winning record this season, but she explained that she mostly just wants the girls to have fun and not be afraid to try new things.
“I don’t want to them to go to that comfort level where they won’t be competitive,” she explained. “They need to take it to the next level.”
Wins will come for the tennis team when they are more aggressive, she explained.
So far the team has won their first two matches and will compete in the county tournaments on Thursday and Friday in Plainfield.
In addition to the participation on the tennis team, the girls of the tennis team are all taking at least one AP class, if not more and participate in other activities and jobs.
“They are very motivated in the classroom, as well as on the court,” Williams expressed.
The captains of this year's team are Laura Van Horn and Emily Roman.
Both the Junior Varsity and Varsity Tennis teams consist of mainly junior and senior players, so the program is eagerly looking for underclassmen to join. Since practices start in the summer, it’s a great way for new freshmen to make friends, Williams added. No previous tennis experience is necessary to join the team.