You Only Live Once, But You Get to Serve Twice

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For the first time in seven years, two SHS seniors, captain Adrienne Travis and Kimberly Zou reached the State Championships as a doubles team, a satisfying end to a great season. This year the girls Varsity A tennis team was undefeated in their league and had several players qualify for the post season tournament. The post season tournaments for Zou and Travis started with players from a smaller area of Westchester. Teams came from schools including Mamaroneck, Ursuline, and New Rochelle. The top three teams and individuals from this double and singles tournament competed in Sectionals,the next round which includes players from all of Westchester. Finally, the top three doubles and singles qualify for the State championships which faceoff with the best teams from all of New York.  Jennifer Roane, the coach of Varsity A tennis team, was thrilled that Zou and Travis were able to make it to States. “Kimberly and Adrienne worked very hard to get to this point. I knew they were going to have a wonderful experience [at States],” Roane stated. The States championships was held Halloween weekend in Albany. After winning the first two matches on Saturday, Zou and Travis fell to a team from Brighton. “The competition was a lot more competitive in the quarter final match. But we faced it well and played the best we’ve ever played overall throughout the tournament,” recalled Adrienne Travis ’15.

Maroon was able to get a first person perspective as Kimberly Zou shared some of her personal experiences from this weekend:

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Out of nowhere, someone yelled “STOP. WATCH OUT!” but the bus kept moving forward. There was a sudden lurch from the left as a powerful force rammed into the front of the bus. The previous light hearted conversation quickly dissipated as the surreal reality hit us. My doubles partner, Adrienne Travis, called 9-1-1. We had just gotten into an accident.

Standing on the side of the road in front of the dented and damaged wreckage of the bus, I couldn’t help but feel a slight unease about our fortunes in the coming days of the tournament. The next day, Adrienne and I were matched up to play the team that came in fourth last year. It could have been an easy match as long as we kept playing the way we had the previous day. But something was off. Serves weren’t going in their intended direction, volleys were falling into the net. Our previous enthusiasm and intensity had
tapered. After being up 4-1 in the first set, we lost 8 games in a row. Only able to salvage one game in the second set, we lost in the quarterfinal 4-6, 1-6. Our spectacular hopes to reach the finals were automatically dashed in these two hours.

It had been a long road up to this state tournament. After a solid season as singles players, Adrienne and I had to readjust to the abrupt difference of the doubles game. We practiced every weeknight from 9-10 to come back home to the senior overflow of work. These efforts paid off as Adrienne and I kept advancing through the  postseason draw. Placing third in doubles qualified us for the State championships.

Right after the devastating quarterfinal match, I could only focus on the negatives. I had sacrificed my final Halloween weekend only to get in a car accident and lose so close to reaching the finals. I would have to go back to my inquiring classmates and respond with “I lost”. There would be no cold, reassuring medal that could top off the years I put into tennis.

But I temporarily left my negative thoughts to cheer on other players from Westchester as they competed to go farther. The crisp, elegant formation as both players danced on the court still captured my attention even though I had lost. Tennis could make me feel terrible when I lost, but the game itself has always remained captivating. Perhaps my run at the States championship was over but it did not diminish my love for the sport.

by Kimberly Zou