Girls tennis team benefits from leadership, coach says


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  • Helping to pilot the West Milford girls' tennis program this year are team captains, from left: Tess Olszewski, Amanda Ward, and Evalina Macejka. Photo provided



By Josh Lashley

The sense of enthusiasm and commitment that surrounds the West Milford High School girl’s tennis program is real and it’s enduring.

The Highlanders have a lot of support-as can be witnessed by the number of student-athletes on the roster, along with an energetic coaching staff.

Helping to lead the team this season are a trio of team captains -Tess Olszewski (senior), Amanda Ward (senior) and Evalina Macejka (junior).

“Tess is a second-year captain, as we chose her as a junior to help lead because she takes initiative, is super responsible and is willing to help out whenever necessary,’’ West Milford head coach Brianna Infante said. “Amanda is also a very responsible athlete who has grown into a great player by working hard. Amanda works closely with Tess to ensure that all girls are taken care of, all activities are in order and that the girls all give their all.

“Evalina is our junior year captain, and again was chosen for her leadership abilities, as well as her positive and capturing personality. Evalina is a source for inspiration, a shoulder for help when the girl’s are struggling in a match and an all-around irreplaceable part of our team.’’

Coach Infante certainly notices the variety of ways in which each of the captains have progressed in such a challenging sport, while also aiding their teammates.

“I have seen all three of these girls improve on their tennis game,’’ Infante said. “Tess is someone who is able to pinpoint what she needs to work on and from that moment on she works to her best ability to fix the issues. Amanda has improved on her net aggressiveness and communication skills with her double partner.

“These girls have seen great success for just playing one season together. Evalina has improved her overall game as a player, as she is our third singles player. We have a few ideas on how to improve her game for next year, but with her drive and dedication I have no doubt that she will accomplish it.’’

On Monday, Oct. 9, the Highlanders are scheduled to host Paramus Catholic.

“Every week we have JV and varsity practice together so that the younger girls and not as experienced girls can practice with our leaders,’’ Infante said. “The coaches kind of step back and allow the captains and experienced players to shed light on new techniques, show different skills or strategies and play doubles matches to help work on communication. Our captains stay after practice with girls to work on their game, come on Saturdays with girls to practice, and create team bonding parties to help the moral and bonding levels with the girls.

“Our athletes as a whole are high standing in their academics. We have honors students on our team, who are so dedicated to their studies that they create little homework groups after the matches. Our captains have a respected academic record and all are dedicated to their studies.’’

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