Tennis optimistic about new courts, season

This story was originally published in the fifth edition of The Lion’s Tale (March 26, 2021).

The Oviedo High School (OHS) tennis teams have begun their seasons and are planning on serving up a successful campaign. The ladies team is currently undefeated at 3-0, and the boys team has won a match and lost one.

The teams have had to adapt to the departure of multiple experienced players, according to coach William Furiosi.

“With a lot of graduations over the past couple years, we’ve been focusing on developing our younger talent while keeping our senior talent engaged and improving.” Furiosi said.

The squads’ senior leaders have been pleased with the contributions of the younger players.

“I am amazed by the hard work and dedication of our new teammates this year,” said varsity girls player Chloe Pinkston. “They have already demonstrated such great teamwork and enthusiasm. I know that they will be a vital part of the team’s success this year.”

The teams have been anxious to start playing on the newly installed courts but have experienced setbacks. Work on the new courts, which began shortly before tryouts, appeared to be done, but repairs became necessary after cracks emerged.

“The [courts] have been cracked and damaged in the years I have been here, and I’m grateful that the newcomers and the leaving seniors can have the opportunity to play on the improved [courts].” said Ethan Anderson, a member of the boys varsity team.

In addition to honing their technique, Furiosi makes sure his players have the edge when it comes to athleticism.

“We always strive to be one of the best conditioned tennis teams in the district, so we are doing a lot of cardio and active strength training during practices to build a strong fitness base.” Furiosi said.

Despite the challenges they’ve faced with the courts, The OHS tennis program remains ready and prepared for any opponent that comes their way.

“Although we haven’t been able to play on our home courts yet this season, we’ve still been working hard and doing the best we can under the circumstances, and we’re really looking forward to getting back out there when they are done,” said junior Madelyn Dowda.