High school tennis team continues serving up points during pandemic

Local News

MCALLEN, Texas (KVEO) — Sports had to make adjustments to keep playing during the pandemic. A local high school tennis team continues to serve up points despite the setbacks.

McAllen Memorial’s Tennis team has won the district championship for eight years straight, and their boys’ team has won for 12 years. Players said they have been able to adjust even with the challenges.

“For example, if I’m playing let’s say another school, school x and we have to take a water break, we both have to be wearing a mask. We have to be a good distance away from each other,” said Diego Salvo.

One of his team mates said finding games to play can sometimes be a struggle.

“It’s kind of hard to get into a tournament because there [are] a limited amount of teams participating, so you have to get it in by a certain deadline,” said Zaira Marinez.

Another player shared her new way of showing good sportsmanship.

“After we play a match or something, you would be like ‘good game’ and shake hands. Now, I just kind of extend my racket, and do a handshake with the racket,” said Victoria Phillips.

There are 11 players on the varsity team, and those who spoke with KVEO said health and safety are a priority, which is why they socially distance in practice.

Some of the members said they think their sport has the advantage because it involves minimal contact.

“When we are playing tennis, let’s say singles, there’s one person on one court and one person on the other, so it’s approximately 75 feet away from each other, more than six. So I believe that’s a great advantage of tennis,” said Salvo.

Another team player said how tennis is different to other sports that require physical contact.

“You can’t compare it to like football. That has like a lot of people, but as I said it’s very individual so we all kind of keep our own activities independently,” said Martina Rodriguez.

The pandemic hasn’t made the team’s morale go down, adding they’re just the same as before.

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