Wildcat girl’s tennis team celebrates Senior Day

By ALEX VERDUZCO

The Redlands East Valley High School girls’ tennis team held their annual Senior Day on Oct. 20, marking the end of their season with their last match before the Citrus Belt League Championship games. 

Senior Day posters hang on the tennis fences greeting parents, family members, and onlookers with the names of the graduating players of the Redlands East Valley girls’ tennis team on Oct. 20. This home match is against the Cajon Cowboys at the REV tennis courts. (ALEX VERDUZCO/ Ethic News Photo)

Their final score was against the Cajon High School girls’ tennis team at home totaling 15-3. With the previous score of the season away against Cajon being 16-2, securing the Wildcats’ win against Cajon for the 2022 season. 

Before the line up announcement commencing the Wildcats versus Cowboys match, Wildcat family members and parents showered their senior players with flowers, gifts, and shared with their teammates personal jokes and kind words about their daughters. 

After these private moments with their families, parents from the senior captains Abigail Washburn and Maryn Strong handed roses and took pictures of each graduating player. 

Redlands East Valley girls’ tennis senior players pose for a picture on the courts in Redlands, California before their last league match on Oct. 20. Victoria Lee, Sadie Foley, Abigail Washburn, Maryn Strong, Elliana Valentino, Coach Edward Stark.

(ALEX VERDUZCO/ Ethic News photo)

 To begin the match, parents announced their loved ones in the line up participating in their senior’s last high school league match and sending them off to play their opponents. 

With abrupt line up changes and unforeseen injuries, the Wildcats persevere and adapt with members stepping up to do their part and cover for their teammates helping to lead their senior players through their last season with sentimental memories through the winning moments, team bonding experiences, and challenging drills during practice. 

The team managers senior and sophomore duo, Thys Hallen and Brayden Yorgesen, organized Wildcats by keeping score, directing players to courts, setting up and tearing down supplies for practice and matches, and providing the players with comedic and moral support.

Redlands East Valley girls tennis team managers senior Thys Hallen and sophomore Brayden Yorgesen kept scores during the match, chatting in front of the tennis shed with previous seniors’ ‘paw prints’ ‘ painted with their names and graduation years.

(ALEX VERDUZCO/ Ethic News photo)

Washburn says,“Starting tennis my freshman year has put me on an incredible journey from starting as varsity doubles No.3 to winning the CBL championship two years in a row. Overall, it’s been an unforgettable experience and an honorable contribution to the team that I can say I have taken part of.” 

Strong says, “Tennis has been a blessing to me for the past 4 years. I’ve loved every bit of it: From the start of my freshman year to senior year I feel like I’ve grown so much in tennis. I’m so grateful for the whole experience and the friendships I’ve gotten.” 

Team captains and seniors Abigail Washburn and Maryn Strong stand under their respective posters after their 15-3 win against Cajon High. (ALEX VERDUZCO/ Ethic News photo)

Although graduation is not until June of 2023, the seniors on REV’s girls’ tennis team experience the end of their high school tennis career as a benchmark of their last year on campus.

Senior Victoria Lee says, “As much as I love the playing aspect of tennis, my favorite part would definitely be the karaoke bus rides and post-game In-N-Out runs! I wholeheartedly believe that the friendships I’ve gained over the past four years, are one that’ll carry me throughout my lifetime.”

Sadie Foley, a senior on the team says, “I joined tennis my junior year and I’m really happy I did. I had never even held a tennis racket before and so I’m grateful to [Coach] Stark for helping me get to where I am today, and I love this team for everyone supporting each other and it has been fun!”

Senior Elliana Valentino says, “I’ve had so much fun these four years playing tennis, especially this year because I got to play doubles with my sister.”

Along with the wins against Cajon, the Wildcats held onto their winning streak throughout the season despite their two losses against rival school, Redlands High. The Redlands Terriers continue holding onto their triumph year after year but the REV girls’ tennis team persists onward and moves closer in the competition to hopefully soon win the match of Wildcats v. Terriers. 

Other than the Redlands defeats, the players still reign successful in their league matches with the only losses being against the Terriers.

Coach Ed Stark adds, “If I had known at the beginning of this school year that there would have been such great obstacles and challenges I would not have expected the season to turn out as well as it did but it was made possible with such strong leadership shown from the girls and their hard work in finishing strong.”

Final League Scores of 2022

Redlands losses for REV

Home: 8-10              Away: 7-11

Beaumont wins for REV

Home: 11-7              Away:15-3

Citrus Valley wins for REV

Home: 12-6              Away: 10-8

Yucaipa wins for REV

Home: 12-6              Away: 9-9 tied in sets, Wildcats won in games 

Cajon wins for REV

Home: 15-3            Away: 16-2

Team captains Abigail Washburn and Maryn Strong share a hug underneath the Senior Day poster with the graduating players’ names after winning the match against Cajon.

(ALEX VERDUZCO/ Ethic News photo)

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