Women’s tennis wins 5-2 against Sacramento City

The sun was out and there was a gentle breeze on Tuesday at home court for the women’s tennis team.

The lady Hawks were victorious against the Sacramento City College Panthers despite having to forfeit a match, winning 5-2.

The team consists of four official players, so this automatically forfeits them in three matches. Since the Panthers had five official players, so only one match was forfeited.

“With three sophomores and one freshman, we make a really good team even though we’re cut short by the lack of people,” said sophomore Kyleigh Carpenter. “We’re still pretty strong.”

Freshman Paradise Whalen is fairly new to playing tennis. The whole team is very supportive and aims to provide a supportive environment, said Head Coach Brandon Ellis.

Ellis said sophomores Taylor Galya and Carpenter, who are their top players, have been spending a lot of time with Whalen in developing her skills.

“Good leaders on a team are often more influential than a coach because when they get it from each other, it has a different kind of impact – it’s a community of growth,” Ellis said.

Galya believes Whalen has improved tremendously.

“She is really open to trying new things,” said Galya. “It makes it really easy when someone hasn’t had enough experience when training them. This avoids the bad habits while playing.”

Carpenter said that Whalen has a strong commitment to the team. “She wants to do better, she wants to play better, and we all know that. We all try to boost her up so she’s not considered just a freshman, that she’s a part of the team.”

Whalen said she felt confident going into the game because they did so well their last game. “It’s my first doubles win, so I feel pretty good.”

Whalen’s victories are a direct result of the amount of hard work she has put into her training.

“She’s improved a lot. She doesn’t have a lot of experience, so she’s playing with people that have more experience than she does and she’s already won a couple of matches, so that’s a notable achievement to begin with,” said Ellis. “She won her doubles and singles match today.”

“Tennis is a very individual sport where you’re in your mind the whole match. That could be a very challenging place when you’re struggling,” said Ellis. “I think the nature of tennis is there’s ups and downs of a match, and they should remain focused on every point.”

Ellis mentioned when Carpenter and Whalen joined the team, they were very hard on themselves. He especially sees an entirely different tennis player with Carpenter.

“Compared to last year when Kyleigh started, she’s so much better now. She’s much more confident,” said Ellis. “Last year, she won a few matches and looked less confident on the court. Now you could just see it in her face that she’s going to go out there and win.”

Ellis said that he believes 90 percent of sports is confidence.

“Confidence is huge for people especially, when they’re not used to competition, so you get a couple of wins and you start to think, ‘I can do this, I can do this,’” Ellis said.

The women’s tennis team will play at home against Modesto on Friday at 1 p.m.