Making A Racquet
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September 21 is a humid day for Escondido, a day when most people would like to stay indoors. Despite the unpleasant weather outside, Classical’s Varsity Girls Tennis Team is playing as hard as they can, returning each ball hit their way with the hardest swing they can possibly muster.
On the closest court is Lexie Mann-Shomo, with her sister Taylee on the court next to her. Taylee, a junior, played on the tennis team last year (the team’s first year), while Lexie, a freshman, is playing on Classical’s team for the first time.
Both girls are winning against their opponent (High Tech High) 3-0. Their strategies for success are pretty simple; Lexie says that “staying positive” and “not letting yourself get upset” is important to pull out a win. Taylee says that she feels out the other player early on in the game and then tries “to do what they don’t like.” In the end, the results show that Lexie and Taylee were both stronger than their opponents that day; Lexie won 6-0 and Taylee won 6-2.
These girls are no newbies to tennis. Both of them started playing tennis around the same time, Taylee at age 10 and Lexie at age 8. Before joining Classical’s Varsity Tennis Team, Lexie and Taylee played as competitive junior players. “We had to sacrifice so much,” Taylee said. “We traveled 52 weekends straight [to] LA … you miss parties and holidays.” Both girls stopped playing competitively when they got into high school because they “had a lot on [their] plate.”
Although Lexie and Taylee agree that there is a competitive nature between them, Lexie says that “it’s nice being on a team with [Taylee] because there’s always somebody supporting you.” Taylee adds that they’re “always cheering for each other.” As the season continues, the two sisters will remain side-by-side, both on the court and off.