Senior captain leads team by example
The ball meets the racket, sending it across the net. Players compete against one another, struggling to gain an edge on their opponent. Senior players take the court, leading underclassmen in the art of tennis.
Three year tennis player, senior captain Alina Davila ranks No. 3 on the team ladder. Davila came out of the WSL (West Sequoia League) tournament as champion, with her doubles partner Ashley Zamarripa, ’19. The duo defeated teammates Sarah Smith, ’21, and Hannah Villines, ’21, 2-1 in a best out of three match up.
Zamarripa shares her love for playing tennis with Davila and how the sport brings them closer together.
“We play doubles together so we kind of have to have the same connection through a lot of it and it’s super fun,” Zamarripa said. “One time when we were playing doubles, Alina hit the ball really hard and she almost beheaded me. I had to squat down but we got the point because they were distracted by her almost hitting me in the face with the ball.”
Davila strives to carry the campus team through her senior season and hopes to build a strong connection with all of her teammates.
“My favorite thing about tennis is being on a team that grows and seeing where we started to where we can end,” Davila said. “I’m sad that this team will be gone and I’ll never be back on the same team with the same people.”
“The first thing that comes to my mind for Alina is perseverance, “Jessing said. “My favorite thing about her is that she is always her teammates biggest fan. She wants them to succeed and is always cheering for them and uplifting their spirits. I’ve been trying to ignore the fact that Alina is a senior, I wish I could keep her on this team forever. It’s never fun losing senior leaders and she’s an amazing leader on and off the court.”
Coach Jessing leads the girls tennis team with a record 0f 11-7 overall and 6-3 in West Sequoia League play. While seniors Alina Davila and Ashley Zamarripa won the WSL doubles championship over sophomores Hannah Villines and Sarah Smith, all four girls will compete in the CIF Central Section Individual Playoffs for a Valley championships start Oct. 22.
The CIF Central Section Division V team playoffs continue Oct. 23, when No. 5 seed Fresno Christian will face-off against either No. 4 Roosevelt or No. 13 Caruthers. Foe more information on girls tennis, visit CIFcstennis.com.
Alina’s parents love the confidence and skill she has learned through tennis and love watching her participate in new activities. Alina’s dad, David Davila, shares how Alina has grown from her sophomore year to now.
“The day she beat her first opponent, I was proud of all the hard work she put into learning a new sport,” David Davila said. “My favorite thing is watching her grow as an athlete and help build a strong tennis program. She has enjoyed it so much and has improved in only three years of playing. I believe if she would have played sooner, she would have gone further.”
Alina’s mom, Kathy Davila, expresses how she appreciates the possibility the school provides to try new things.
“I feel very grateful that Alina had the opportunity to play a new sport and thrive in it,” Kathy Davila said. “I feel like all the skills and accomplishments she worked so hard to achieve will help her navigate through life as she becomes an adult. From starting a new sport to recruiting players for the team, she is working hard to represent FCS well.”
Makayla Davila, ’22, describes her love for her big sister and how final Alina’s year on campus impacts her.
“I’ve always been in school with her so seeing her gone, I’m probably going to cry a lot especially next year,” Makayla Davila said. “I’m just going to miss being able to yell at her across the hallway saying, ‘Hi Alina! I love you’. Wow that is so sad that she is going to be gone.”
The WSL tournament decided all the qualified players that will compete for Valley individual championships. Zamarripa and Davila took first place in doubles.
The tennis team begins their playoff journey against an opponent TBD, Oct. 23 Come out and support the team!
For more articles, read Football, volleyball, senior nights and sports rally promote school spirit. For more on the campus tennis team, read Ashley Zamarripa leads girls tennis with passion.@thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.
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