Air Academy’s Women’s Tennis Team Prepares for Another Season

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The 2019 Women's JV Tennis Team takes their team photo.

As you walk on to the concrete surface, you scuff your shoes to get a feel for the court. The nerves build as you get ready for the upcoming match. It is always so exciting, yet it is hard not to feel sick before each match.

This year, the Air Academy Women’s Tennis team is ready for another year of fun competition. The team is run by Kimberly Davis and Lori Kiser, neither of whom work at Air Academy, but come every day to coach the varsity team. The team also receives help from AAHS counselor and volunteer coach, Lynda Powell.

The team consists of more than 45 players and many of them have not been playing for very long. Despite this, many players already have a passion for the game and have a love for the team.

Junior Abby Murphy said, “I have been playing since freshman year and I love playing in the tennis tournaments and just getting to hang out with everyone on the team.”

The team has a very close bond and it seems like everyone has fond memories of the unity that the team expresses. The team also contains a lot of character.

Kimberlee Davis, the head coach for the past two years said, “I already have so many happy memories coaching at [Air Academy]. One that stands out to me is our match last year against Palmer Ride on our home courts. Palmer Ridge is tough and was ranked #4 in the state, and we beat them 4-3. It wasn’t the win, however, that stands out to me. Each girl gave everything that they had and left it all on the court.”

Davis is proud of the character that the team exemplifies on a consistent basis and says that it is the reason why they see success.

The coaching staff has six other members, and they all have extensive playing careers. Volunteer coach Cheryl Gorthy has the shortest career of playing but has been playing consistently for the past 8 years.

The players have also had great experiences being a part of the team and cherish many experiences they shared with their teammates.

Senior Kate Farhart who has been a part of the team since her sophomore year said, “My favorite memory was one-time last year when my partner, Ruth, and I had a super hard match that we thought we would lose, but we won despite being heavy underdogs.”

The team also has a lot of fun during practices and games because while they improve every day, the coaches use engaging drills and activities.

Senior Eliza Tripp, who has played since elementary school, said while laughing, “The team was practicing our volley shots and our coach used the comparison of Wonder Women to us blocking the ball with our rackets. It was a good time, and we truly improved off of that.”

The team is one that has a special connection, and all the players have loved being a part of the program.

The experience is best summed up by Farhart when she said, “I chose to play tennis because the group of girls that play are the best and the coaches are so encouraging. It just feels like the whole team is a family.”