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New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

Girls tennis prepares to dominate at state

The team’s positive attitude fosters a success-based mindset
Junior Tessa Gemp

The 2023 girls varsity tennis season is already in full swing, and as one of the top three teams in the state, the team is focusing on a chance to become State champions.

“The team is very solid again,” Jerry Morse-Karzen, the girls’ varsity head coach and an alumnus of the New Trier tennis program, said. “We’ve been second in the state the last two years.”

The people on the team have always really made me want to come back.

— Yvette Hermann

The team, made up of 22 girls, started practicing in late August and has already played several big matches this year, with conference matches played on Oct. 6 and 7.

“It’s a bigger commitment being on varsity,” senior Yvette Hermann, a first-year varsity player, said. “We have matches almost every Saturday, so I’m pulling one-day weekends most of the time, and that’s really exhausting, but it is worth it to be a part of the team and be so active.”

Sophomore Ariane Lesterhuis, a second-year varsity player, said she is really looking forward to State, as it was one of her favorite memories from last season.

Lesterhuis has been playing tennis seriously since the age of 6 or 7 and was one of the few freshman players on the varsity team last year.

“I was the youngest on the team, but everyone took me under their arm, were always very nice to me, and always supported me during my matches especially,” Lesterhuis said. “If I ever needed help, I knew I could go to them, as always.”

Similarly to Lesterhuis, Hermann added that as an upperclassman, the team’s atmosphere has always felt welcoming.

“The people on the team have always really made me want to come back,” Hermann said. “I feel like it’s a great community, and even though the beginning of the year is always a super hectic time, I feel like being on the team does help me decompress just because the community is so great and the people are so supportive.”

Hermann explained that the team’s coach, Morse-Karzen, teaches his athletes the Trevian Triangle to show the importance of their behavior.

“The Trevian Triangle has three things,” Morse-Karzen said. “The first one is we are good people. It’s as simple as that. No win means anything if we didn’t do it the right way, weren’t honest, respectful, helpful, nice, you name it…then we work hard, then play to win. We want [those] too, but the ‘good people’ is at the top.”

Despite all of the playing time they have together, the team also spends time together outside of tennis. Fridays before matches, the team may participate in “carbos,” team get-togethers where the players eat foods containing high amounts of carbohydrates prior to big matches.

“We like to hang out, [and] some of us might grab dinner after a practice; whoever’s available [and] whoever doesn’t have too much homework,” Lesterhuis said.

With the U.S. Open happening during the tennis season, 18-year-old Coco Gauff’s win has served as a source of inspiration for the team.

“There haven’t been too many Americans that have won the U.S. Open recently,” Lesterhuis said. “It’s very nice to hear that it’s possible for kids that are younger, or teens.”

Gauf’s win was inspiring for the team, but the girls have been generally focused on self improvement.

“I think a lot of the kids are focused on their own games and making improvements on their own style and their own technique,” Morse-Karzen said. “If they do that, and that gets better, then they can get closer to Coco.”

As the first half of the tennis season comes to an end, the team looks forward to crushing it at state.

“We’ve had some very successful years,” Morse-Karzen said about his team. “We’d love to move up one notch, and we’ll do our best to make that happen at State.”

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