Tennis moves to a small team with big victories


Kelly Jinguji, Editor in Chief

Change and transition are two words to describe Liberty girls tennis this year.
With a team half the size of last year’s counterpart, a new coach, and key new players, the entirety of the tennis program has been flipped on its head—but ultimately, for the better.
The roster dropped from last year’s 60 players to 26 for the 2019 tennis season, an unprecedented change that has brought great reward.
“A smaller team means we are getting a lot more practice time,” senior captain Sarah Stucky said. “With fewer girls, we get in more reps that make us better players, and team unity across Varsity and JV is much stronger.”
Liberty has also been fortunate to gain Carola Dopps on the coaching staff. Dopps brings years of experience and skill to the program, and to note, she nearly qualified to play for the Netherlands National Tennis Team as a teenager.
“It’s really nice having Coach Carola because she has lots of new ideas for drills,” senior captain Bridget Ury said. “She is very knowledgeable on technique and has really helped us as individual players.”
And through drastic changes, the team has gelled together, reflected by its 4-1 record that includes notable wins over 4A Redmond and Issaquah. Outside of Dopps’s great coaching, much of Liberty’s success on the courts can be accredited to its newest player additions (and sister pair!) of junior Annelise Nguyen and freshman Katy Nguyen.
“Annelise and Katy are extremely strong players who have greatly impacted our team this year,” Ury said. “They play all-year round, so they bring lots of experience and knowledge of the game, and they are overall just wonderful and supportive teammates.”
“Before starting high school tennis, the sport was always more of an individual sport for me, so the experience of having a team to cheer and support me is new but really great,” Katy Nguyen said. “On a team, it feels like you are winning for the team rather than just winning for yourself.”