JV tennis readying for first matches

Freshman Viviane Nunez, who is only playing tennis for the first time, said she decided to join the team because of her interest in less popular sports. “I’m always interested in the less talked about sports, so I started tennis because it’s both a mental and physical game, which seemed challenging,” she said. The varsity practices are often led by head coach Tara Sagers and JV practices by assistant coach Mitch Dekutoski. “I like to be at JV practice as much as I possibly can, but I like to let Mitch lead JV practice as I feel he’s doing a great job with the team,” Sagers said.

For Nunez and the rest of the team, a typical practice occurs at the UNI tennis courts and begins with warmups to prevent injury, particularly on colder days, followed by hitting rallies with a partner and work on a specific technique, like volleys and serves, or point play, which can either be simulated matches or games such as King of the Court. Confidence and muscle memory are also key aspects of daily practice, according to Sagers, who, like Nunez, sees tennis as both a mental and physical challenge.

This challenge is one that Sagers has been up against since the age of three, when she first began to play. She is now married to a professional tennis player and owns the Black Hawk Tennis Club, and said, “Our life is tennis. It’s fantastic when you can do the thing you fell in love with at the age of three. The best part really is the fact that I can help encourage others to love the game, which is a game you can literally play the rest of your life.” 

Since 2017, Sagers has been coaching at Cedar Falls, and always looks forward to seeing the JV team compete and learn to get comfortable on the court.

The JV team has not yet had any matches as their first event on April 29 was canceled due to weather, but has an upcoming event against Columbus Catholic, Independence, Kennedy, Waverly-Shell Rock and Waterloo West on Saturday, May 7 at 9 a.m. Between now and her first match, Nunez hopes to improve her skills while still continuing to use the extracurricular as an opportunity to get closer with those of her friends who are also on the team. Nunez also wants to refine her abilities before the next season. “I want to continue to improve so that I can be on varsity next year. That’s my main goal right now.”

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.